For several reasons, I have written here during my question ban.


I am NOT a programmer, I am a mechanical engineer who is especially interested in and uses Python, because so much of our software is written in Python, Fortran or VBA.

Unlike a programmer, as a mechanical engineer I have limited time to spend on programming, so my point of view will be rather different from you programmers. Given that I have that time, I am interested in asking my own quite specific questions, they aren't many, and they tend to be about simple operations to file format writings.

These type of questions were OK two years ago but since then it has got harder and harder to ask asking new questions without them being downvoted and closed. So in the end, I earned myself a uestion ban over one question that was about a file format. Congratulations to me and to you :-)

During this time, I noticed newer and newer posts from moderators regarding the regulations. like this one

One point I'd like to make before I make my proposal:

  • How many rules have been made so far, and how much time do you think new users and contributors have to sit down and read all of them?

Sometimes I see that some moderators even forget there was a rule, because it's lost under heavy piles of daily questions and answers and discussions and new rules. How many words should the website rules have? How much time can an average speed reader manage and remember all of them at the expense of negative votes? How much right for the new users, and not only new the other proficiencies?

My Proposal

So, after being banned, see the link above, I listened and understood the main point: contributing on the website and improve question quality, but then asking here, I was informed that correcting other people's questions had no effect on removing question bans. Why? Why not ? If I correct 100 questions while I myself have asked 30 questions, which is the larger contribution?

closed as off-topic by Robert Longson, fbueckert, Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog, Pierre.Vriens, PolyGeo Aug 6 at 22:45

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to seek input and discussion from the community. If you have encountered a problem on one of our sites, please describe it in detail. See also: What is "meta"? How does it work?" – Robert Longson, fbueckert, Pierre.Vriens, PolyGeo
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Contributing is not exactly the same as fixing or improving one's own posts. Someone edits 100 questions, what did the edits consist of? Formatting, adding an extra space, fixing a typo, all worthy efforts and commendable but how many of those posts survived beyond the editing process? How many were closed regardless? How many posts were upvoted after the edit intervention? In the meantime, nothing prevents you from posting an answer, make it 100% solid proof and detailed enough so that beginners will be helped. – Mari-Lou A Aug 7 at 11:21
  • Participate in meta, upvote good answers, post comments on bad answers explaining why the answers are poor, wrong or simply bad, if you don't have enough rep to DV no one will accuse you of being "mean", "unfriendly" or "unhelpful" etc. etc. – Mari-Lou A Aug 7 at 11:21
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    And please do some research before asking why downvoters do not explain their voting behaviour. That question has been asked hundreds of times, and hundreds of times those questions have been closed as duplicates to be then deleted by the system. I would have posted all the above in an answer but it is closed. Nevertheless, I see Ann Daunted's answer also touches on those points I mentioned above. – Mari-Lou A Aug 7 at 11:29
  • One count is a question is duplicates, one count is the users are not convinced cause a convincing answer is not given probably – FabioSpaghetti Aug 7 at 11:33
  • @FabioSpaghetti Comments are more or less temporary. The comment section can get cleaned up when they are no longer needed. You got two answers, so the comments were probably no longer relevant. – Modus Tollens Aug 7 at 11:34
  • @ModusTollens where is the rule about it ? – FabioSpaghetti Aug 7 at 11:53
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    @FabioSpaghetti There is an FAQ about it here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/19756/204841 – Modus Tollens Aug 7 at 12:02

I'm only addressing the main point here :

I was noted that correcting other people questions have no effect on removing question bans. But why?

It does have an effect although not the effect you hope for.

Editing posts teaches you two things:

  • What a good post looks like
  • How to salvage sub-par posts.

The knowledge you gain from that comes into effect as reputation and when you are allowed to ask another question. Because now you have learned the ropes and that allows you to post content that is valuable for many future visitors to come.

So, there is no do this 100 times and you're free to go. We need your content to be good and we can only judge that when you either provide new valuable content or improve existing content. Being in a quality ban has only proven us so far that both warnings and offered guidance have not lead to a positive reception. The onus is on you to change that within in current rules and not by advocating a change to those same rules.

I ask you this question: Why do you favor SE sites over the many other sites around the internet? Could it be it is due to the content you have found on these sites? If so, maybe the rules we set here are a contributing factor to that success. Changing the rules might jeopardize that success.

  • consider deleting this answer and posting it here meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/388064/… – Yvette Colomb Aug 7 at 11:27
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    @YvetteColomb I did see that other question before and it was discussed (in now deleted comments) on the question here whether the question belonged on MSO or on MSE and the OP argued their question here was for the broader network and not a dupe of their MSO post. So I'm not deleting my answer here, I need the rep .... – rene Aug 7 at 11:48

The purpose of the question ban

As stated in the about links on every page, Stack Exchange is a network of question and answer sites, not help forums. This implies that all posts are expected to have some value for later visitors too. To enforce that, and to prevent help vampires making the answerers turn away from the communities, low-quality questions and answers are blocked.

Its purpose is to protect the community from further questions and answers that do not meet our quality standards. That's why it says

Before you do anything else, fix your existing posts!

While it's commendable that you suggest edits to other people's posts and thereby improve the site's content, it doesn't mean that your questions and / or answers meet the community's quality standards.

There is still a huge difference between asking a good question (or writing a good answer), i. e. conduct the necessary prior research, adhere to the site's standards like an MCVE on SO, writing a clear and concise question, in case of problems listening to the community's feedback and improve your posts as suggested in comments, and an edit.

That's what edits are for

  • Fix grammatical or spelling errors.
  • Clarify meaning without changing it.
  • Correct minor mistakes.
  • Add related resources or links.
  • Always respect the original author.

Someone did all the work, and your edit polishes it until it shines brightly. But actually writing the question is (should be) more work. And to combat the question ban, you need to prove that you can do that work.

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