Questions are the lifeblood of any Stack Exchange site. But asking good questions can be difficult, and while most people start off doing it poorly, some never get better. For years now, when sites reached traffic levels that made manual review and filtering of questions burdensome for the good folks answering them, we've enabled systems to detect and slow down the folks who weren't putting any effort into learning and improving over time:
We believe asking questions on our site is a privilege, not a right. If, after a few fair attempts, you haven’t been able to prove that your contributions to Stack Overflow make it at least … not-worse … then we reserve the right to refuse your questions. If we don’t do our part to cull the bad questions, then we risk alienating the true experts who provide what really matters: the answers!
Prior to today, these "comprehensive" checks have been enabled on only 8 sites. After much discussion and soul-searching, we've decided to enable them everywhere.
Users who encounter this block are directed to this page, which explains what that person must do to lift the block. Moderators have access to information on whether or not a given user would be blocked if they try to ask, as well as whether or not they've previously encountered the block, for those cases where it is desirable to provide one-on-one support.
What you can do to help
Quality blocks are based on each community's rating of questions and answers, therefore the most useful things you can do are:
- if you see a great, thoughtfully asked, well researched question, vote it up — please! Great questions are an art!
- if you see an egregiously sloppy, no-effort-expended question that you feel was asked in bad faith … vote it down.
- anything in between that’s salvageable, edit it!
Don't worry about the exact details of the algorithm used for blocking - in general, it's fairly conservative as far as who or what gets blocked. On the majority of sites, this will affect few if any users in the near future. Most users will encounter rolling rate-limits and warnings long before they encounter this block.
As always, vote your conscience and encourage new members to participate constructively.
Feel free to post questions or concerns here. If you encounter problems specific to a given site, please post on that site's meta. If you encounter this block and want it lifted, read the instructions linked to in the block message.