As explicitly stated in the last section of the FAQ (emphasis mine),

My account is in good standing. Why am I still blocked?

The ban also takes in account the IP address. If you browse from a shared computer, or from a location that gives the same IP address to many end users, it's enough that another user who was banned or triggers the ban, will affect everyone else accessing from the same location.

To help rectify this, browse from a different location.

even Jon Skeet cannot ask questions on a shared network where someone else has made the IP address banned from asking.

While this rarely happens, it's quite possible in certain cases:

  • You're such an unlucky cat that you got a banned IP address from your ISP
  • Someone behind the same NAT as you are behaves badly. This could be a common case in corporate network, or dense apartment buildings
  • People using public VPN services to circumvent some firewalls. Also a common case to some extents. All users behind the same VPN server are banned

For points 2 and 3, there usually are unavoidable reasons for such users to visit SE under the given network environment, and being banned from asking or answering just for visiting from a "bad" IP address could be frustrating.

What was originally taken into account when making this decision, instead of granting "IP ban exception" to users with good histories (e.g. "trusted user"s with 20k+ or 4k+ on beta sites)?

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    "even Jon Skeet cannot ask questions on a shared network where someone else has made the IP address banned from asking" - I don't believe this is accurate. It's my understanding that IP-level restrictions only impact new accounts or those below a (low) reputation threshold. This is true even for spam / trolling IP blocks, in an effort to minimize the collateral damage you describe for established members of the site. – Brad Larson Apr 5 '19 at 17:43
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    125 points of reputation is the stated threshold for where you stop experiencing IP-level question rate limiting, and it was my understanding that a similar threshold applied for the other IP-level limits. – Brad Larson Apr 5 '19 at 17:47
  • "As explicitly stated in the last section of the FAQ" What FAQ? Can you link to it, please? I'm with Brad, I'm skeptical of this claim. Is this a question tagged [faq] on Meta? Or is this something in the Help Center? Who added it? What precisely does it say? – Cody Gray Apr 6 '19 at 6:53
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    @CodyGray it's this FAQ, I also added the quote on the question. Also, it's added on revision 19, and then modified on revision 31 – Meta Andrew T. Apr 6 '19 at 7:18
  • Yeah, as I suspected, that doesn't say what it's being presented as saying in this question. It just says that question bans take the IP address into account. The Meta Stack Overflow version of the FAQ states more succinctly: "You and others on your network may be prevented from asking questions entirely." Established accounts in good standing are not going to be subject to these restrictions. Jon would be unaffected. – Cody Gray Apr 6 '19 at 7:24
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    Yeah, the flaw in this FAQ is that it unconditionally says that everyone else from the same IP will be blocked. I've made that edit in my proposal for editing the ban FAQ. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 6 '19 at 7:27
  • I use Tor, and the worst I ever get is a recaptcha when I try to search on an SE site that I haven't joined. – forest distrusts StackExchange Apr 8 '19 at 3:48

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