How does the hobbling for bad askers work, on sites where the question ban isn't enabled?

In particular, as a moderator, I see repeated entries in a user's history stating

user posted after seeing a quality ban warning

What does this warning look like? What “quality ban” are they heading towards, and how fast? How long would this ban last?

  • 2
    The quality ban of "to increase this site's quality, you have been banned." </snark>
    – user206222
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 8:46

1 Answer 1


It's a warning that we show to folks who are near a quality block, or would be near a quality block if they were enabled on the site. As we could (in theory) enable them at any point where we and the moderators of a site deemed them necessary, we warn unconditionally.

While the user isn't actually going to be blocked (though they will soon be rate limited based on the quality of their recent contributions regardless of blocks being enabled or not), the warning is in fact useful - they need to ask better questions.

The philosophy behind this is essentially the same as for the "consistently low quality questions over time" mod message, and on sites without automatic question-bans it should be treated in the same fashion: if someone has been repeatedly warned and continues to contribute poorly, they should be suspended.

Logging this is a rather useful utility, because you (as a moderator, this is not visible to folks without a diamond) can more effectively see how they've been using the site, and that the system has in fact attempted to slow them down. Hence, you've got a better overview and more information should you elect to intercede.

The answer-block warning:

Some of your past answers have not been well-received, and you're in danger of being blocked from answering.

Please pay close attention to the following guidance:

  • Please be sure to answer the question. Provide details and share your research!

But avoid

  • Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers.
  • Making statements based on opinion; back them up with references or personal experience.

To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers.

The question-block warning:

Wait! Some of your past questions have not been well-received; if this pattern continues, we will no longer accept new questions from you.

For help formulating a clear, useful question, see: How do I ask a good question? Also, edit your previous questions to improve formatting and clarity.

  • 1
    @psubsee2003 It will eventually go to all sites, however the behavior will be configured to be site-specific - much like private betas, public betas and graduated sites have different reputation scales, with the ability to fine tune as needed.
    – user50049
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 9:18
  • 1
    I updated my answer with the actual text.
    – user50049
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 9:34
  • Does “we will no longer accept new questions from you” link to SO even on other sites? Is this lie shown on sites without a question block? Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 9:38
  • @Gilles They're transformed to use the per-site metas, or link to MSE I believe, but I should probably follow up on that and ask someone (as that's how they should be working).
    – user50049
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 9:56
  • 1
    The links - /help/question-bans and /help/how-to-ask - are relative to the current site, @Gilles. Additionally, the entire warning can be customized on a per-site basis if need-be.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 17:11
  • @TimPost yeah, thanks. I realized that you said it originally when I reread your question (hence the deleted comment), but the the fine-tuning feature sounds excellent Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 17:24

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