StackOverflow is no longer accepting questions from my account. It happened after I posted a question asking for comparison between PHP and C#. The question was deleted and my account banned. OK, I get it. Maybe, that makes me a help vampire. I got downvoted like anything. It should have deleted it before SO did that.

Now this Meta SO page says the ban might be uplifted by writing a few quality answers that get upvoted. Since then, I have posted many answer some of them were also accepted and my reputation has increased by 200 or so. But still it won't accept my questions.

Does anyone have any idea how far I need to work up so that I can get this ban uplifted. They say a few answers... But that doesn't seem to work.

  • 4
    The details of the ban are unfortunately kept secret. But the question ban requires more than just one downvoted and deleted question, and indeed there are four questions that are downvoted and closed in your account. Improving them through editing is another way to get unbanned. (Admittedly that is difficult in your case, since many of them have answers already). Mar 6, 2013 at 5:05
  • @DavidRobinson Should I delete all the questions which were downvoted?
    – user210148
    Mar 6, 2013 at 5:08
  • 7
    @SandyLee: don't. Deleting things will get you deeper into ban territory. Edit them to make them better.
    – Mat
    Mar 6, 2013 at 5:09
  • 5
    Definitely not. Deleted questions count towards the ban as well, and general opinion is that they count more than undeleted questions. (Furthermore, that will make them impossible to edit and improve). See the Meta page you link to- it explains that. Mar 6, 2013 at 5:09
  • @DavidRobinson Thanks for the help. I will try improving them.
    – user210148
    Mar 6, 2013 at 5:12
  • 1
    "They say a few answers..." hm I would guess something about 42, with positive (at least non-negative) score could do the trick
    – gnat
    Mar 6, 2013 at 12:48

3 Answers 3



Maybe, that makes me an help vampire.

No it doesn't -- comparison questions are off topic for a different reason (see gorilla vs shark).

I got downvoted like anything. It should have deleted it before SO did that.

Note that deleting your own posts can also lead to a question ban. Having them deleted by the community process or by mods is more likely to result in a qban, but self deletes can pile up too.

To help lift the qban, edit some of your closed questions. Make them clearer and add more detail, of possible. The ones which are closed as Not A Real Question can be reopened if you explain yourself more, at times. (Your edit may be sufficient to get it reopened--if that doesn't happen, you can always use a custom mod flag and ask for reopening.

Also, continue to write answers. You probably are close to having the ban lifted, though :)


The details of question ban are not revealed. So it is difficult to predict how to lift the question ban. However, you can edit your closed questions and try to make it good, reasonably answerable questions.

Once you have edited it, you can request to reopen the questions which satisfies this. It will automatically appear in the review queue where people with close/reopen privilege can vote to reopen it. Improving the quality of your questions should help in lifting the ban.


The post ban algorithm evaluates, among other factors, the number of deleted posts and the total score of your posts. Obviously, the exact details are secret, since we don't want people to abuse the system by staying near but not past the ban threshold.

Generally, however, the more downvotes or deleted posts you have, the more difficult it is to recover from a ban, as the extent by which you've exceeded the ban threshold is greater. In minor cases, it could take just a few upvotes on a single post for the ban to be lifted. More often, though, you need at least three or so posts with a total score of at least +10 to get a post ban lifted.