I guess I have a "question ban"

If deleting your own questions enters into this equation, does it take the time taken into account? I've deleted quite a few of my own questions simple because I figured out it was a really dumb question and/or I found the answer (and it was a dumb question question/duplicate else where).

In that case, is it better to put add my own answer or what? Also why is there no warning for this?

more information on this ban

My question is: What is the best way to handle my dumb questions? Things that don't add true value to the community?

  • I looked at your SO account, but I don't see anything which might trigger a question ban, except maybe for the excessive deletions. I don't even see any negative downvotes. Consider undeleting the questions; if that doesn't lift the ban, email team@stackoverflow.com and explain the situation to them. – user102937 May 19 '11 at 18:55
  • Which is why I'm confused by it. (My stackoverflow account for others who are looking). I'll update my question for more clarification. – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 18:57
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    How do I undelete a question? – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 19:23
  • Can you see your deleted questions? If you can, there should be an undelete link under the question (which replaced the delete link). – user102937 May 19 '11 at 19:25
  • It doesn't show up in my list of questions any more. – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 19:26
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    @Robert, regular users can't see their own deleted questions even if they know the URLs (I once bookmarked a question before deleting it to test this). – Pops May 19 '11 at 19:29
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    Aye, there's the rub. Then your best recourse is to email team@stackoverflow.com for guidance. Make sure you include a link to this meta question. – user102937 May 19 '11 at 19:30
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    I'm undeleting them now... Also, please don't put tags in your titles - that's what tags are for – user1228 May 19 '11 at 20:25
  • Lesson learned. Thanks. For future reference how should I handle questions I think would be better of deleted? – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 20:36
  • @RyanJM: Someone on the dev team has to advise you on that one. Can you ask questions again? – user1228 May 19 '11 at 20:41
  • @Will Yes I can, thank you very much. I'll try go through and answer / flag my questions accordingly and not delete them myself. Though I agree with @Robert, that I should be able to delete them without penalty, I've learned a lot in how to ask better questions over the years (though, I still have room to learn, obviously) and some of them aren't worth being indexed. – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 20:47
  • @RyanJM: Don't be so harsh. If you have an unanswered question that you have found an answer for, you can always answer it yourself and close it out. If the question sucks, you can always edit to make it better... – user1228 May 19 '11 at 20:53
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    @Will, :) Sorry, don't mean to be harsh. What if its a dumb question that isn't worth improving? Some times I just have an off day and realize the next day (or an hour later) that the idea behind the question if flawed/stupid, no improving possible? Do I just put an answer why it is flawed and apologize to the community or just delete it and not waste anyone else's time looking at it. – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 21:05
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    @RyanJM: Eh, I've seen the quality of your questions; I don't think they reach anywhere near the "dumb" level. If you want to see dumb questions, go troll the [android] tag. – user1228 May 20 '11 at 13:43

I've deleted quite a few of my own questions simple because I figured out it was a really dumb question and/or I found the answer. In that case, is it better to put add my own answer or what?

If you answer your own question off-line, submit an answer to your question, then accept it. This will help other people who may have the same question as you.

Further, you should let the community decide if a question is dumb or not, or if the question adds value to the community. Answer your own questions, it's perfectly allowed here.

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    But if the community declares it dumb and down votes it that is bad for the community (and for me)… its almost spam. Seems like if you already know its dump and not worth being in the site, you should be able to delete it without (too much) repercussion. – RyanJM May 19 '11 at 19:25

So long as your self-deleted questions are more than 30 days old at the time of deletion, they no longer count against you.

This is necessary because of a large contingent of abusive users that ask, then delete, and re-ask.

(More philosophically, asking lots and lots of questions that nobody can answer -- either because they are fundamentally unanswerable, too niche/obscure, or in the wrong place -- does mean, at least in some small way, that you are Doing It Wrong. And for the record completely unloved questions get deleted eventually anyway.)

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    Does this apply to votes against the post as well? Say the user has a self-deleted post 31 days old, with -6. The self delete no longer counts against him, but what about the -6? Is that still taken into an account? Or is the question in its entirely gets ignored? – Madara's Ghost Feb 8 '13 at 22:47
  • Just to make this straight. Questions that I've deleted more than 30 years ago are not counted for question ban and they can't be reason for it? @Jeff Atwood♦ – Muhamed Huseinbašić Sep 17 '14 at 16:31
  • "...too niche/obscure... does mean, at least in some small way, that you are Doing It Wrong" -- I didn't know this was a deliberate design decision. Just wondering, if SO is encouraging users to post only about topics not covered anywhere else how would a user know if their question is too obscure? Wouldn't the questions that meet the research requirement naturally be extremely niche and obscure? – jrh Apr 1 '18 at 19:27

What is the best way to handle [my own] dumb questions? Things that don't add true value to the community?

Delete them.

That's why the question ban is so puzzling. I think it got tripped by accident; send an email to team@stackoverflow.com for clarification.

  • What if you can't delete them because someone added an incorrect/unhelpful answer? I tried flagging one of mine for moderator attention and instead got dropped down to 740 flag weight. If a moderator disagrees that it should be removed, is it possible/worth it to continue trying? – Brandon May 19 '11 at 19:17
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    @Brandon: if someone added an unhelpful answer, the correct response is to down-vote it. If you can get it down to a score of <= 0, you should be able to delete the question. Of course, if you leave a comment explaining why it's unhelpful, you may find the author willing to improve it (or others willing to down-vote as well...) – Shog9 May 19 '11 at 19:23
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    @Brandon: Did either the incorrect/unhelpful answer or your question get upvoted? If that occurred, the system considers the question to have merit, and will prevent you from deleting it. Moderators are reluctant to override this feature without a good reason. – user102937 May 19 '11 at 19:24
  • @Shog @Robert, they did get upvoted, and I did downvote it so the score is now 0. Still wouldn't let me delete it. I tried explaining why the answer was unhelpful a few times, but still wasn't able to communicate the actual point of the question to the user, at which point I just decided to drop it entirely. Just curious if flagging it was the correct approach to take, or if I should have just let it sit there. – Brandon May 19 '11 at 19:31
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    @Brandon: IMO flagging is the correct approach to take in situations like this. I usually dismiss such flags as valid if I decide not to delete the question, but other mods might see this differently. I wouldn't let a little flag weight loss bother you too much, though. – user102937 May 19 '11 at 19:35

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