Back in 2014, a warning was added for posters who are on their way to receiving a question ban. That post includes screenshots of the warning, but the visual styling depicted in the screenshots is noticeably different than the current styling.

Recently, we've had a couple people complain about not seeing these warnings, including one who is quite adamant that they did not see a warning that looks like that.

Thus the question: has the warning's appearance changed since 2014? If so, what does it look like currently?

  • 14
    I could, of course, go ask a bunch of bad questions on a sockpuppet, but that seems like a terrible idea :-)
    – Ryan M
    Apr 26, 2021 at 3:10
  • 2
    If the only issue is "another user claims of no warning" then it's a duplicate of the question several hours earlier, where the same moderator engaged in a similar explanation in the comments; such a claim has been made a few times recently (there). If "the only thing you want to know" is "what does it look like?", I'm wondering what would it look like, or how ought it to be presented, so that one could not make such a claim.
    – Rob
    Apr 26, 2021 at 5:52
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    Well, the request is to know what it looks like. I don't really care whether it's posted by a moderator, a staff member, or a user who's asked too many poorly received questions. I feel that's fairly clear from the fact that the three sentences ending in question marks (one of which is the title) ask that: "What does the post (question/answer) ban warning look like?", "has the warning's appearance changed since 2014?", and "If so, what does it look like currently?"
    – Ryan M
    Apr 26, 2021 at 5:57
  • 16
    The most important question to SE devs is: Does it even work? and if the reaction is of course then a screenshot would be awesome.
    – rene
    Apr 26, 2021 at 6:22
  • 1
  • 1
    It seems I was wrong. They've posted multiple questions in the past six months, so it's not that they were already previously banned and it was just reimposed. Apr 26, 2021 at 11:21
  • 3
    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog - I brought up that up earlier (now deleted comment), however, the user also claims they have never seen the warning (despite the log saying it was shown 8 times). I think there is merit, just to give everyone a warm and fuzzy, to make sure the warning is still actually working. In the case of this particular user were talking about it probably doesn't matter because they also saw it in 2017, 2020, and 2021 (according to the server logs)
    – Ramhound
    Apr 26, 2021 at 14:47
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    If the warning remains what's in the announcement you linked, it would be a good idea to have a feature request to change both notices, or at least the question notice, to something more noticeable. Preferably, this would be a modal dialog which the user needs to acknowledge. It appears the answer notification might be that, or at least a popup, but the question notice appears to be something quite easy to miss, particularly for users who have already demonstrated, by the poor reception of their questions, that they are not paying attention to suggestions from the system.
    – Makyen
    Apr 26, 2021 at 15:07
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    FWIW, I have asked Adam directly on that announcement 7 months ago due to the same claim that a Q-banned user didn't see any warning, but alas, no response. Apr 26, 2021 at 16:44
  • 11
    It still looks the same. The text is the same, still a notice. Probably some stylistic changes to bring it in line with Stacks. However, from what I can tell, the warning is only ever displayed in the v1 ask editor. In the v2 ask editor, there is a line that inserts a form variable as to whether the user was shown a warning (which gets set to true and then records a history event later), but there is not a block where the message is actually getting inserted for them to view. So it's more of a "should have been shown the warning" variable. I guess someone forgot to put it back in. :/
    – animuson StaffMod
    Apr 30, 2021 at 14:42
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    So all the users who complained they hadn't been warned about their impending question-ban really hadn't been warned? Wow. Any idea how long this has been broken for?
    – F1Krazy
    Apr 30, 2021 at 14:49
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    I'm retagging this as a bug and adding it to the backlog of tasks for the team to look into addressing. Thanks to @animuson for identifying the issue here. :)
    – Catija
    Apr 30, 2021 at 15:13
  • @F1Krazy since January, 16th for sure: meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/404510/…
    – rene
    Apr 30, 2021 at 15:27
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    @Catija consider also somehow clearing/softening q-bans of users who got these without warnings (it hurts me so friggin' much to propose this but the other way hurts even more because it feels too unfair)
    – gnat
    Apr 30, 2021 at 19:20
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    @Makyen well your are words I've been telling myself from the very moment I saw this question posted hinting a chance for a real bug here. Somehow, it didn't help, sorry. "Fairness"... is maybe not the most accurate word to describe what I want. And what I want is to be able to think and say to banned folks, "You were banned after being warned. System now forces you to spend time learning how to use it correctly because you declined this opportunity when prompted in a softer way. Go learn and stop wasting our time." Apparently, this turns into irrelevant noise if there were no warnings
    – gnat
    Apr 30, 2021 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


This will be fixed in the next build.

This was a missed requirement when we built the new question asking form. The input element that records it was shown was left in but the message was never rendered, hence the confusion. As a dev on the project this was my fault, so I'm sorry for any problems that came out of this.

enter image description here

  • 3
    Do you happen to know when it was broken, so that moderators can know which users were actually shown the warning based on when the system recorded showing it?
    – Ryan M
    May 13, 2021 at 19:25
  • 8
    It's been broken since March 3rd, 2020 on the network, a little longer on international overflows, and September 2019 or earlier on Stack Overflow since we had an experiment there. Basically, a long time. The data is not 100% cut-and-dry through, since the mobile theme was still serving up the warning. May 13, 2021 at 19:47
  • Something similar seems to have happened here. Is it related to this issue, or is it a different one?
    – cigien
    Apr 4, 2022 at 20:06

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