I read that a question ban is a lower level than account which to me I thought meant IP address. If a person is question banned and not trying to circumvent it, can other users on a shared IP address continue to post from say a company IP address if things all show they are independent pre-existing users like they have had accounts for awhile that are used on IPs the question ban is not on as well.

I ask because I had some closed posts that got me the ban, but I stick with my accounts that I originally sign up for with services. I'm just answering as the docs say you should. But if I had a co-worker who used Stack Overflow and the account did not look like a dupe, would it be unaffected by a first time question ban? I do not know if anyone uses Stack Overflow at work, and we are a small IT department so this is not a complaint that I have co-workers affected, just due diligence. I realize you may not be able to speak specifically to if anyone else would be affected but what would the general rule be then.

My reading of another post on a user creating multiple accounts led me to believe I may not understand entirely how question bans work and their effects.

What can I do when getting "We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account"? says:

Can I simply create a new account?

No. The automatic ban is at a lower level than account.

Of course this is unclear about existing accounts.

Also, it says:

My account is in good standing how come I still get banned?

Since the ban is based on IP address as well, when you browse from a shared computer or from work location that give the same IP address to many end users it's enough that one get banned and all others are "banned" as well. To rectify this, just browse from a different location.

Should I assume that no matter what, that any IP adress I go to nobody can ask a question from that IP anymore unless my ban is lifted and avoid logging on any other IP addresses? There is no cut off on that and it will apply in every case?

  • There is no such IP ban. Your co-workers are fine, provided they ask good questions. That's about everything there is you'd need to know—and the team wouldn't reveal specifics of the algorithm anyway. – slhck May 25 '13 at 14:20
  • @slhck: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/72180/… ?... or is this out-of-date? – Matt May 25 '13 at 14:23
  • @Matt Two years later: Can we prevent some of the low-quality questions from entering our system? – it shouldn't happen, and if it does you'd need to contact the team. – slhck May 25 '13 at 14:24
  • @slhck: The very post you linked to says that IP bans are still used, along with account blocks? Questions from IP addresses or accounts with a history of extremely poor questions will no longer be accepted. – Matt May 25 '13 at 14:25
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    @Matt Yes. In very rare cases it seems—that's why I said, provided they ask good questions. An entire office bombing the site with bad posts from one IP is something different. – slhck May 25 '13 at 14:27
  • my profile on LanternMike on stack shows I started answering questions this last week and am working to gain reputation which is the constructive way to over turn a question ban in time per the link quoted so hopefully people wont misinterpret my question. – LanternMike May 25 '13 at 14:44
  • @LanternMike As I understand it, answering does help somewhat, but you would still need to fix your bad questions to lift the ban. Looking at your profile, your visible record doesn't look like it should have earned you a question ban. If you have deleted questions, you probably need to have at least some undeleted (ask a moderator for that) and fix them to earn a couple of upvotes for them. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '13 at 14:59
  • I had my last two questions closed at once as off topic. My prior two questions were deleted as not constructive because i was asking about the Apple design rules and it was said only apple could really answer that kind of question. I was at fault for not exploring at the time why they were closed and continuing to ask questions but i did edit and clarify them after the question ban and they were deleted but it was explained why and i have no grievance with that. – LanternMike May 25 '13 at 15:02
  • @LanternMike The problem is that deleted questions (not all, but some, don't know the exact criteria) still count for the ban. So the deleted questions might keep you below the threshold (at least much longer than without them). But only devs know for sure, and only moderators and employees can help you by finding and undeleting them if necessary. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '13 at 15:08
  • I don't how how answering factors in. I would expect that if you earn 10K with answers, that should lift all but the most extreme question bans. But whether 1K rep from answers would lift an average question ban? No idea. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '13 at 15:10
  • That is unanswerable. We do not know. – Bart May 25 '13 at 15:15
  • I have no idea, sorry. Your recent reputation record looks good, but I simply don't know how much it helps. You might contact the community team and ask them whether you're on a good way, though I don't know whether they would answer such inquiries. – Daniel Fischer May 25 '13 at 15:16
  • The question still remains what it is about effected users. I was just responding to comments. – LanternMike May 25 '13 at 15:19
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    @slhck, a few months ago, someone commented on the What can I do when getting “Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account”? that the entire network of the European Union offices was banned. I assume that was not "An entire office bombing the site with bad posts from one IP". – Arjan May 25 '13 at 15:39
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    So what about carrier-grade NAT? 3G and 4G is not confined to phones only and plenty of people use it as their primary connection. It disturbs me that even with an IP address pool, one troublemaker could poison a number of IP addresses that are used by many others. – pilsetnieks May 25 '13 at 16:49

There are per-user and per-IP bans. I'll not go into detail about how they differ, but... Normally, your co-workers won't have anything to worry about if you get your user banned - although if everyone from an IP is doing poorly, that's probably not gonna end well.

Occasionally, someone gets the idea to start creating new accounts every time they hit the ban (rather than trying to learn how to ask well-received questions). If you want to make sure your co-workers come looking for you with torches and pitchforks, this is a brilliant idea.

If you hit the quality ban, just put a bit of time into improving your existing posts. That is by far the best way out. If you get stuck, get in touch (use the Contact Us link at the bottom of every page) and we'll try to help you out.

  • I don't think it was a quality ban but my last 4 questions were closed and after edits 2 were deleted. I failed to find out why my first two were closed and continued asking questions that did not meet what is allowed under the FAQ. – LanternMike May 25 '13 at 17:42
  • In addition to my last 4 questions that were closed (one now migrated), I identified quality issues in the state of 4 of my questions that were not answered. these questions were resolved and I answered my own questions now so i misspoke in saying quality was not part of the ban. – LanternMike May 25 '13 at 20:42
  • Shog9, I guess you know about these things, but just to be sure, note pilsetnieks's comment: "So what about carrier-grade NAT? 3G and 4G is not confined to phones only and plenty of people use it as their primary connection. It disturbs me that even with an IP address pool, one troublemaker could poison a number of IP addresses that are used by many others." (I'm not asking you to reveal more details; just want to ensure the team is aware of this.) – Arjan May 26 '13 at 17:31
  • We're definitely aware of it, @Arjan. – Shog9 May 26 '13 at 17:36
  • If someone creates a new account every time they post, instead of waiting to hit the ban, they can keep posting terrible content from the same IP indefinitely, without ever being banned. Is there anything we can do about this? – ff524 Dec 30 '15 at 13:38
  • Sure, @ff524: track question quality on a per-IP or per-network basis. We're doing this to some extent, but it's not perfect either; there are large companies, schools, and in some cases countries that all operate behind a single IP or subnet. – Shog9 Dec 30 '15 at 15:17
  • I ask because the person who's the subject of this post and this post is posting very poor content network-wide, always from a new account that he deletes immediately after posting. I noticed once that his IP was spam-blocked for a short period of time, but it didn't last long enough to do much good :( – ff524 Dec 30 '15 at 22:41
  • For future reference, @ff524... Spam-delete those posts. – Shog9 Dec 30 '15 at 23:14

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