It appears that some new users ask a question before having read just the very basic descriptions about how SO works. As a result their initial post is sometimes downvoted, but the new user may not understand why. Such a bad head start could be avoided if the new user just read about the very basic SO principles before the first post.

The requested feature is that new users start at zero reputation points, and can't make any question or answer posts before having seen the SO pages about very basic principles and having passed a simple test, which will earn them their first reputation point.

Existing users that reads and answers questions are usually very serious about their work on SO, so I think it is reasonable to require that new users invest just a minimum of time in learning about SO before they post anything.

Would that be a useful feature?

  • 3
    "can't make any question or answer posts before having seen the SO pages about very basic principles..." this is already the case. New users are required to click through a great deal of stuff already. Users that don't understand or won't understand will not be persuaded by a simple test, while users that did read and understand are likely to be put off by it.
    – Charles
    Feb 20, 2014 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


If someone really doesn't want to read the basic principles, there is no way you can enforce him to do that, even if you enforce him to click on some link, he can still pretending to be reading and skip all the content of the page.

After all if someone doesn't read the basics and doesn't understand SO principle, this will only affect him in a negative way, since there are members and moderators who care about this site and will clean any inappropriate threads.

  • Agree that members and moderators are very good at cleaning up inappropriate threads, but careless new users still create some amount of noise that requires attention, and I would like to see that reduced. Feb 20, 2014 at 8:02
  • Otherwise moderators will be fired ;)
    – Maroun
    Feb 20, 2014 at 8:03

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