63

[EDIT - see modifications (@ post end) based on Bart bringing this to our attention again.] Today, having watched my first question (a feature request) here on Meta drop to -6 with no bottom in sight, I immediately got discouraged. Then a kind comment mentioned that downvotes meant mere disagreement about using or implementing the suggestions. And then I ...


55

Before you read this, let me remind you once again that q-bans aren't exactly a fixed state: since they're based on a bunch of different past activities and associated responses from the community which can and do change without warning... It's entirely possible for someone to qualify for a ban and never realize it because by the time they go to post again ...


54

Question blocks worked well enough at the scale that they were introduced. Those that could be helped were able to get out from under them, those that couldn't generally just left. They're not working very well today. Because they're so difficult to get out from underneath (voting is much heavier these days), people find it easier to just request account ...


49

I purposefully waited a little while prior to answering this, and the tl;dr; version of this is I'm a sympathetic ear that thinks the question block worked in your favor. I'll address the suspension at the end of this post. Background Some years ago while our daughter was still quite small, she developed a hell of a fever. It was 108 (F), we took her ...


47

First off, an explanation of the two status tags: Declined: We won't remove the q-ban entirely. See below. Completed: We already suspend actively harmful users manually, and will continue to do so. In addition, we've modified the score threshold for q-bans (again) based on a fresh analysis of the data - at this point, it is low enough that it should be ...


41

Why not allow any user to see their own deleted questions, even if they aren't question banned (yet)? A user might have deleted a couple of questions and, potentially, learn that they can proactively improve those to avoid a ban, instead of waiting for the ban to happen and learning how to reverse it later. I realize most won't go out of their way to learn ...


40

Do you have any numbers available for us as to how the ban is beneficial on other sites? I'm worried that politically motivated downvoting may cause question blocks on politics.SE.


32

It's because you have two more questions that have been deleted that also have scores of less than zero. Deleted questions contribute to the automatic question ban. If they didn't then users could ask bad questions, delete them and carry on asking bad questions without stopping. However, it does seem harsh in this case as your other questions are generally ...


30

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I've merged all of the relevant accounts (this one is a totally different guy and location, unrelated) together and suspended them for a year (for actively and knowingly doing this). There were another 3 accounts I found by IP sharing as well, same treatment. I've thrown this in our team chat, we'll take a look ...


30

The message is there to be read, understood, its links followed, read and understood as well. And then, we hope you follow the advice and start asking better questions - at this point, this is up to you. If you ask better questions, you will not get blocked. If you don't ask better questions... well, you did get a warning, right?


29

That is long. But thanks for being honest. For now: I've merged your accounts. This will cost you a little bit of reputation, since you accepted your own answer (which is ok) and got a bonus for it (which isn't ok). Since your newer answers were well-received, you're no longer answer-banned. Keep it up! For future reference / others reading this: You ...


29

It's a warning that we show to folks who are near a quality block, or would be near a quality block if they were enabled on the site. As we could (in theory) enable them at any point where we and the moderators of a site deemed them necessary, we warn unconditionally. While the user isn't actually going to be blocked (though they will soon be rate limited ...


28

Looking through the bans, most of them are correct. However, we'll be reducing the threshold of votes in this calculation (on any meta) to better reflect the idea that downvotes can be much more common on meta, for reasons that aren't necessarily related to quality of the post.


28

On several occasions I attempted to contact the powers that be of this site and received a poor response. I would like to ask how it is fair for an algorithm to decide to ban me with little understanding of what I am going through? Unfortunately there is no way for any algorithm to account for serious illness or any other real-life circumstance. We've ...


28

I was also banned from asking questions on Stack Overflow. The most probable reasons I found for it were: Some of my questions were having few Down-votes. One other reason might be a closed question in my question lists. Not so constructive questions. My ban was lifted after a week. What I found during that time is, what you should do to lift your ban is: ...


28

Is there a reasonable chance of recovering from a ban, assuming you care enough to try? By and large I cannot comment, but I am an example of a question-banned user who makes a positive contribution to SE, and is attempting to clear the ban by-the-book. I am still question-banned on MSO, after a significantly good week on both SO (about 1.5K rep, #199 for ...


28

You posted 3 answers before receiving a ban, not 1. All 3 were flagged by the community (multiple times) as not being answers. Here are the start of those posts: I am having the same problem... Having same problem... Does anyone have further information... None of these posts were actually answers, they were appropriately flagged and subsequently deleted....


27

Is Stack Overflow banning new members too easily? Sometimes, yes. It's rare, but the checks are automated, and there are always edge cases that don't warrant banning. That's why folks who believe they've been banned incorrectly are advised to contact us. We check every single case we're notified of, and always try to provide some assistance. That said, ...


27

This is what happened, as far as I can tell1. Due to a series of down voted and ultimately deleted questions, a question ban was imposed. You then effectively lifted the ban by fixing some of them, and continued to provide helpful answers. However, you were barely over the threshold. As in a few down votes could have probably put you back in it. You then ...


27

As the person whose question prompted Pekka to put a bounty on this, I can say that it IS frustrating when you spot improvements or errors and are not allowed to contribute this information. By nature, I'm a helper. I spend HOURS a day on this site in the MS-Access, VBA and SQL portions of SO answering questions. I received the Tenacious badge because I ...


26

But you see, I am a 1.9k member here. Yes sometimes my questions got downvoted too, but overall I know how to ask questions. To put it bluntly, if the questions you reviewed were downvoted heavily enough to trigger the question ban, then you certainly don't know how to ask good questions here. And reputation is not a completely reliable indicator of knowing ...


26

I find our post ban workflow quite ineffective, for a variety of reasons: The damn shortened URL Replacing the shortened URL with a real link has been proposed before, and declined. Waffles asks: Should we invest any time in giving suspended users a smoother user experience? And I say no, absolutely not. But you certainly need to invest time in giving ...


26

I have had the bad experience of being banned on Meta. I, too, didn't know that my actions could lead to limitations; I was unaware of the fact that deleting questions, or getting too many negative votes, or some kind of combination of those could lead to a ban. I found the reasons for my ban afterwards, so from my point of view, and my personal opinion is ...


25

Yes, prevention is better than trying to clean up the mess afterwards. Your suggestion is a good one. Proposal: If a user is banned from asking new questions, or throttled from asking a new question for a few hours... Then any of his edits, of his questions, are treated as suggested edits. Optionally, only if the edits are more than, say, 80 characters. ...


25

You are almost pretending as if none of this ever existed: People leaving comments as to why questions are closed People explaining their downvotes The messages below closed questions The message you get when a question doesn't meet quality standards The message you get when you're banned from posting All the examples of good content on the site Editors who ...


24

If you have to ask: You have eighteen deleted questions. Most of those deleted by yourself within hours of posting them. Some examples I looked at weren't exactly good questions, either. There's at least one question that actually got a reasonable answer, and you deleted it anyway. That's one huge block of wasting people's time, and that's exactly what the ...


24

I think in your case, the reason for the question ban was the 6 questions you deleted over the last couple of days, seemingly in response to the serial downvoting. I've undeleted these, which should be enough to return you back over the threshold. I've also issued a warning to the person targeting you with these downvotes, because you weren't the only one ...


24

Actually, there are three bad questions: What are some recent Web programming good practices and Standards? Why Won't these 2 columns align? Best Way to Build a Fluid HTML and CSS Page What makes these 'bad' questions? For What are some recent Web programming good practices and standards, it's the textbook definition of Not Constructive. You ask: Now I ...


24

Yes, it violates the rules. As was pointed out in the comments, you've been told this before, right here on Meta.SE. It confused me on Aviation.SE when I saw the New User flag on your name, since I knew you weren't new. I'd say you're lucky the Aviation mods only gave you a 30-day suspension, based on your posts across multiple SE sites and your repeated ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible