We have a user on Ask Ubuntu who just received the "do better or we won't let you play" nastygram, while writing a new question. They aren't banned yet, but they're clearly being told they will be if they carry on.
I understand the point of this feature is to stop people flooding a site with bad questions...
... But this user has a good —albeit brief— record:
- 1 accepted question with a score of +4
- 1 close-dupe question with a score of +2
- 2 automatically-closed (by the Community user) with scores of ±0. I've looked at these questions and they weren't bad, they just didn't attract enough of the right people to get a vote or an answer. Ask Ubuntu is broad enough that some people just don't see some subjects like that.
- 1 flag against them (the duplicate post)
So they hasn't attracted a single negative vote... But they're in "danger of being blocked from asking"?
What is the system actually counting to denote a "bad user" here? I suspect their community-deletions and the dupe are counting against them but I don't think they should.
Dupes happen, especially on technical sites where you can ask exactly the same thing in a dozen different ways... And unanswered, unvoted questions are just as a symptom of a less popular topic as a bad question (as I've said, the quality here was good).
Moreover, the ultimatum we show these users tells them to "improve" their existing posts. How on earth are they supposed to do that here? The Community-deleted ones are only salvageable by a moderator and the one that is duplicate will always be duplicate.
It's impossible for the user to fix themselves; they're stuck.
Certain flag and closure types attract automatic downvotes. These are what you should be counting to indicate bad quality. Until that point you shouldn't be counting users like this in people who are on the brink of being cut off.
And unless they're doing something demonstrably wrong, we shouldn't be banning users for things they can't actually fix.
It'd also be nice for moderators to be able to countermand any automatic blocks. I feel helpless when users come into chat begging to be allowed to try asking another question but the system won't let them. This user in particular has done nothing wrong but this is far from an isolated case.
The message seen:
Wait! Some of your past questions have not been well-received, and you're in danger of being blocked from asking any more.
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.