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Some background...

Personal, I think that "eternally" banning users from posting questions/answers is a bit harsh.

Allow me to explain the eternally part; after posting a few bad questions on SO (when I was a new user) I was banned from asking questions, and after realising the mistakes I made, I went back to improve my posts (either by deleting or editing them). So while I waited for some of my questions to be upvoted enough for me to ask questions again, I found other things that I can do to still contribute to SO (such as, posting answers, editing posts, flagging, approving edits, etc).

And so I waited, and waited, and waited (for over three months), and finally I came to the conclusion that it's probably unlikely that I'm going to be able to ask questions again (this side of the century). Think about it, when have you ever seen a "reformed" question/answer get upvoted enough (within a reasonable amount of time) for the user to get unbanned?

So with the above in mind, I thought that it would be a good idea to unban users that have gained a certain amount of extra reputation from when they were banned, this way we can be more certain (when compared to simply shortening the ban period) that the user isn't going to post something bad again.

This is just an idea to help users who have truly turned from asking/answering "badly" (and can't get enough votes to get unbanned) get back their deserved privileges.

So, what do you think?

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    "improve my posts (…) by deleting" – you do realize that this is exactly what you're not supposed to do? – slhck Aug 27 '13 at 20:47
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    "have you ever seen a "reformed" question/answer get upvoted enough (within a reasonable amount of time) for the user to get unbanned?" Yes, yes I have. But admittedly those users were probably not in very deep. Don't know how problematic your case is though. – Bart Aug 27 '13 at 20:48
  • Your 7 non-deleted questions do not suck, so it must be your deleted questions being held against you. Deleting doesn't make it count less against you. – user7116 Aug 27 '13 at 20:50
  • If anything @user7116, from what little we know it makes them count more against the OP. – Bart Aug 27 '13 at 20:51
  • There is currently no time component involved. You are banned until such time as your total contributions to the site are above a certain threshold. It could take you a year or 10 minutes to improve your contributions such that they are considered good enough for you to be able to ask questions. It's a great system in that users don't just keep coming back to ask more bad questions just because they waited long enough. – Servy Aug 27 '13 at 20:54
  • people do lift the ban. Stats in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/172300/… - I recommend working on your deleted questions if you can – Kate Gregory Aug 28 '13 at 10:11
  • Thank you all for your feedback, it's been very interesting. I'll also see what I can do about my deleted Q's. ;) – Sam Aug 28 '13 at 10:54
  • So... Can we infer that you just created a new account so that you can ask questions? – Johnny Bones Aug 28 '13 at 12:33
  • @JohnnyBones Nope, i can ask questions on meta, but not SO. But having said that the ban has just lifted because two of my Q's were upvoted. Thank Goodness! – Sam Aug 28 '13 at 12:37
  • @Sam - Lucky you! I'm still question banned on meta and I've got a text file with about 12 bug fixes I can't post... – Johnny Bones Aug 28 '13 at 13:08
  • -1 because think about this scenario: user search all posts with some minor typo and fix it. Each fix gives him 2 points. 100 of these in couple of days, and he get 200 easy reputation. It doesn't mean, by any means, that he will now post better questions. Thus, depending on reputation alone is wrong in my opinion. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Aug 28 '13 at 13:50
  • @ShaWizDowArd I know that reputation is only a rough way of measuring a user's credibility, but still, how else would you be able to judge if a user has learned his/her lesson? – Sam Aug 28 '13 at 13:53
  • @Sam by measuring reputation gained from posts, either questions or answers. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Aug 28 '13 at 13:54
  • @ShaWizDowArd But that then brings us to the original problem, the user then has to wait until someone stumbles across their reformed post and decides to upvote it, which could be a long time. – Sam Aug 28 '13 at 13:56
  • @Sam I mean if he's question banned he can post answers and the other way around. :) – Shadow The Princess Wizard Aug 28 '13 at 14:09
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it would be a good idea to unban users that have gained a certain amount of extra reputation from when they were banned

Exactly this is already happening. While the specifics of the algorithm that triggers question bans are not known publicly, it is a fact that contributing positively in the form of good answers (or upvoted existing questions) can get you unbanned.

I personally know of at least one user who managed to unban themselves after digging themselves really deep into the… you know. Anyway, all it took was a (rather large, but still) number of good answers, and possibly a little help from moderators who undeleted questions that could be salvaged.

In any case, you always want to take every chance to fix what you can I would suggest you get in touch with the moderators to see if they can undelete posts for you, to give you a chance to improve them. Any deleted question will negatively impact your account's standing, so make the best of what's there. I'm fairly certain that nobody wants users to be banned from asking forever – as long as you can show that you want to improve, the community can always support you.

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    And in addition to this, have a good look at your good questions as well @Sam. Improvements help. That does not just mean improvements of your bad content. – Bart Aug 27 '13 at 20:56
  • @slhck "...contributing positively in the form of good answers (or upvoted existing questions) can get you unbanned." Does reputation from editing other posts count? Or is it purely rep from Q's & A's? – Sam Aug 28 '13 at 9:50
  • @Sam: Who knows? It's reputation either way. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 28 '13 at 9:53

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