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The Help Center article on answer bans doesn't say anything like that. (This is where the ban message directs you to look.)

The MSE FAQ says you can (but I doubt that anyone but "power users" reads this):

If you're unable to improve your existing posts, you'll get the chance to post one new question or answer 6 months after your last question/answer.

I'm not banned but I am confused. Can we edit one of these to make it clear how the system works? (Once we figure out how the system works.)


In contrast, the Help Center article on question bans says this:

If you're unable to improve your existing questions, you'll get the chance to ask a new one 6 months after your last question. If that question is positively received, you may be able to continue asking questions; if not, then the ban will be reinstated.

If this is how answer bans work too, then we can reuse this verbiage (with obvious edits) in the other article.

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That rule does not apply to answer blocks. We never bothered to implement it for answers because it is extremely easy to get out of an answer block.

I've updated that paragraph of the MSE FAQ with better wording.

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    What do you mean with "it is extremely easy to get out of the answer ban". I though that the only way to get out of the answer ban is improving existing answers and in some situations that is not possible. Is it possible to get out of the answer ban by other positive contributions alone: asking questions or editing. Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 9:29
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    @ResistanceIsFutile Well if I explained why it was easy that would potentially break the effectiveness of the block. ;) So you'll have to live with it just being easy.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 15:50
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    Honestly, I don't understand how keeping this secret makes the block any more effective. It's not like users are going to carefully contribute just the right ratio of good vs. bad answers. If they want to do voting fraud to bypass it, they don't need to know the formula; they just need to keep casting upvotes until they can post again. The only result of keeping it a secret is that when people ask "how do I fix this situation?" we have to shrug and say "sorry, we have no idea."
    – Ryan M
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 15:53
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    OK, you don't have to give up the secret. But, let's say that user has answer ban and there is no way he can fix existing answers. Can he get out of the ban purely through other contributions. Yes or no. I am asking because I have seen situations where fixing answers was definitely not an option and the user really learned the lesson, but we cannot give clear answer whether it is possible to get out of the answer ban in such scenario or not. People can ask single question every six months, but there is no such rule for answers. Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 18:24
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    We have always advised users that they should consider participating on the site in other ways, even by suggesting edits, as a way of helping them with the block. I don't know if that's in any FAQs, but it was something that was included in our support canned messages for a long time. (Yes, it's possible.)
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 18:32
  • Thanks! That is good to know. There are some FAQs that say that other positive contributions help to get out of the ban, but all those FAQs are for questions and answers combined and one of the suggestions is to improve existing posts. Because of that it was hard to say whether people can actually get out of answer ban or not. Occasionally, someone with answer ban would ask on SO Meta wondering whether they can get out of the ban because they would be contributing and earning reputation for months and they were still answer banned. Commented Jun 2, 2022 at 19:35

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