I seem to be blocked from answering based on a single bad answer post. Please tell me if this is possible.

So I'm a relative noob at Stack Overflow. And I'm apparently blocked from answering questions. I see the message "We are no longer accepting answers from this account" when I try.

I followed the link to the FAQ which says "One or two bad posts will not cause you to to be blocked from using the site." Hmm.

I may be a data point that contradicts this statement. I believe I am being punished for a past sin, my first answer was a "me-too" sort of noob mistake. But that was my first, last and only attempt at an answer.

I do not share my account with anyone. Just in case because sometimes my memory really stinks, I checked my activity log, which shows nothing about deleted questions or answers. Is there a "secret" activity log that I can't see?

This is nagging at me because yesterday I asked a question, got a great answer, developed a detailed solution using the answer, and would like to post the revised block of code.

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    Do you access SO from a shared ip (eg a university or company ip Aug 2, 2013 at 13:42
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    Only a mod can see all of your deleted content, so let's wait for one to confirm exactly what you've deleted. 1 or 2 posts shouldn't do it so it is either you have more deletions than you recall or you are sharing an IP address with someone who has a history of bad answers and has been banned, Aug 2, 2013 at 13:48
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    Would posting your eventual solution help anyone else visiting with a similar problem, any more than the accepted answer would?
    – Alex Poole
    Aug 2, 2013 at 14:01
  • So if someone banned while in university, is that means banning the whole university from the SO forever?
    – Calmarius
    Aug 2, 2013 at 14:12
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    @Calmarius usually a large group would have multiple IP's so it would only impact people who share the IP would be impacted. My understanding is the IP ban is a sledge hammer only used for serious (repeat) offenders and not someone who is banned for the first time. Aug 2, 2013 at 14:14

3 Answers 3


Seeing Nick's answer, I think that solves the mystery. But I'm sure your next question is "how can I post answers again?"

You won't be able to remove those non-answers from your history in any meaningful way that will help you recover from the ban, so the only way is to turn those non-answers into answers.

Pick one of the 3 and look at the question and the current answers. Can you provide a good answer now that is different (or expands upon) the current answers? If so, go for it. If not, then start doing some research on the problem and try to find a new solution to the problem and edit the deleted post with the new solution.

Once a post is an actual answer, flag it and ask a mod to undelete it. Then go work on the 2nd and the 3rd in the same manner. If you get all 3 fixed and undeleted, chances are you'll be able to answer, or will only be a few upvotes away from being able to answer.


You posted 3 answers before receiving a ban, not 1. All 3 were flagged by the community (multiple times) as not being answers. Here are the start of those posts:

None of these posts were actually answers, they were appropriately flagged and subsequently deleted.

  • Thanks. You have confirmed there really is a secret activity log. Wish I could see in my profile that my admittedly bad posts had been converted or deleted, that would be helpful. Aug 2, 2013 at 14:15
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    @chrislott not really secret, but the designers of the system long ago decided that no one wants to be reminded of all of their deleted content so the full history of all of your deleted posts is only available diamond moderators. There are feature requests floating around to change that, but so far they have been declined. Aug 2, 2013 at 14:21

By your own admission at being a noob at SO, you seem to have not quite grokked how Stack Overflow works yet.

Stack Overflow is not a blog or a forum. It is not a place where conversations take place. Rather, it is a place where individual questions are asked in a clear and concise way, and are answered by the community. Once the answers are posted, the conversation ends.

However you appear to be treating SO as a forum, where conversation threads are begun and then continue to evolve as more information is garnered, more questions are asked, etc.

Take a look at your deleted answers, as listed by Nick. In each case, none of them are answers. They are all general comments, "me too"s and clarifying questions.

There is an opportunity to ask clarifying questions -- the comments. If you don't yet have enough rep to post a comment, you'll have to wait. Posting your comments as answers is not a loophole to get around the rep limitation. Using it as such will get you banned.

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