Another "miséricorde": http://meta.superuser.com/questions/6736/can-you-please-review-my-ban
Consider this comment (emphasis added):
I think its okay, please dont take any efforts for me. I personally do not feel the system helps ask good questions. I dont know why asking for a software in this case is bad. Basically I needed a command that would give me this data. There is no other way I could have asked the question. I could have changed the question just for the sake of changing. I feel I am better off elsewhere. Thanks for your very very prompt responses. Regards. Bye. – user1744649
We just lost another user due to inadequate guidance on what questions are allowed. The assumption that every post-banned user is aware of the rules and quality standards by the time they are banned has been proven incorrect.
Given that hand-holding every new user is infeasible, we need a better way to make sure that users can understand how to ask good questions and what types of questions are allowed.
I suggest that we warn newcomers, in a clear but positive tone, when one of their questions has been closed, downvoted (to a score of -2 or lower), or deleted, so that they don't repeat the same mistake. This is probably best done the next time the user asks a question, and should appear as an "interstitial" page prior to reaching the actual Ask Question form. The page should not appear to users:
- with at least 50 (or perhaps 75 or 100) reputation
- that have asked a good question since the last downvoted/closed/deleted question
- that have fixed a bad question and had it reopened/undeleted/upvoted.
The content of the page should be adapted based on the specific problem with the previous question. I would imagine something similar to the following (example for a question closed as off topic on Super User):
Before you ask another question...
One or more of your previous questions have been closed as off topic. The scope of on-topic questions is defined in the FAQ, as follows:
What kind of questions can I ask here?
Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …
- computer hardware,
- computer software, or
- personal and home computer networking
and it is not about …
- programming and software development,
- video games or consoles,
- websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress,
- electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer,
- issues specific to corporate IT support and networks,
- asking for a shopping or product recommendation,
… then you’re in the right place to ask your question!
Please make sure that the question you are about to ask is on topic as described above. If you need help determining whether your question can be asked on this site, you can ask for advice on Meta Super User or chat. You may also want to edit your previous question to address any problems associated with it.
To ensure a high standard of content quality and prevent disruption to the community, users who repeatedly post low-quality questions may be blocked from posting further questions.
The question EULA doesn't address this issue as it is shown only to users with 10 reputation or less (rather than up to 50 and possibly higher) and does not address the specific problem with previous low-quality questions. The point of this feature request is to provide a easily understood targeted message that actually teaches the user about what happened with the previous question he or she asked. The EULA is generic and may not have conveyed the intended message clearly if the user still asked a low-quality or off-topic question. For reference, this question-banned user currently has 143 reputation and the proposed message would probably have been shown after the first closed or deleted question.
I know this can be a complex feature to implement, since it needs to be adaptive, but this should help eliminate confusion on what the rules are and minimize the incidence of good-faith users getting post-banned.