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I really want to answer others' questions, to make a sacrifice at Jon Skeet's altar contribute to the Stack Exchange community, but what I know is so trivial, and I can't really do anything.

I see in in the Help Center

Stack Exchange has automatic filters in place to ban questions from accounts that have contributed many low-quality questions in the past. These filters help keep the quality of our sites high.

Will a user like me, who only asks question get banned by the system?

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  • No. If you ask good questions you'll not only gain rep but also badges. Take the tour, visit the Help Center to figure how to ask a good question.
    – devnull
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 7:37
  • Here is the post written about question/answer ban
    – Mp0int
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 8:43

1 Answer 1

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No, a user who only asks questions is perfectly fine. There are some high-rep users who have only ever asked questions, or only ever answered them. This is totally OK behaviour.

What you're reading about is the question bans given out for consistent low quality questions. This is the kind of scenario where someone consistently and regularly asks questions that:

  • are hard to understand
  • are poor quality, e.g. they've just posted code and given us no question at all
  • showing no research effort at all - someone is asking us a trivial question that could be answered just by checking the documentation, or etc.

... without ever asking any questions that are actually good.

Basically what it comes down to is: if you're asking a lot of terrible questions and contributing nothing positive, you're wasting the time of the people having to clean up after you, so you get question banned.

How's the system detect this?

The exact mechanics are kept secret so that they can't be gamed, but it basically comes down to these characteristics:

  • You have a lot of negatively-scored questions
  • You have no positively-scored questions, or the few decent questions you have are vastly outweighed by the negatives
  • If your questions get deleted, that pushes you further toward a question ban

This is all powered by community moderation: upvotes, downvotes and deletions.

As long as your questions aren't generally all downvoted/deleted, you're probably safe from being question banned.

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  • Thank you for your explanations, but I am just curious, how exactly does the system decide which users are low-quality users? Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 7:41
  • 1
    The community decides through a meritocratic system of governance. In part, moderators can take action based on various problem reports.
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 7:46
  • But do questions deleted by Community as 'abandoned' contribute toward the ban? Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 21:14
  • @Someone_who_likes_SE I don't know. The mechanics are kept secret as I mention in the answer. I would, personally, assume that yes it would, but it's unlikely to matter. Questions only get deleted as abandoned after a very long time, and the question ban system seems to be very much in favor of being forgiving. For an "abandoned" deletion to matter long after the fact, you'd have to already be in trouble and have done nothing to dig yourself out since. Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 21:18

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