I made an interesting observation today. A user asked a question which was closed some time later, because the question needed more focus. As I scroll up, I see the same question being asked again with very minor changes by the same user.

Now I don't like to just make assumptions, but I am guessing this person is fairly desperate. It is probable that a moderator or someone with high enough reputation will close the newer question once again.

What if this user keeps asking the same question every 40 minutes? Do we have a policy on this?

I have not been able to find anything on this type of problem.

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    $\begingroup$ Basically, if someone asks several low quality questions in a row (many -1 and/or closed), then the system automatically blocks them from asking. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ Great, thank you for the response @Tim $\endgroup$
    – Stochastic
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:10
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    $\begingroup$ This question has bothered me for a long time. The automatic system blocking mechanism sort of works. With experience, I have figured out its parameters. The problem is that any user who has collected some upvotes (which invariably happens if they post enough questions or answers, even when those are all pure junk) will be given much more latitude to abuse the site than a new user with only downvotes. These are the ones we need to be vigilant about. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:17
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    $\begingroup$ If you have VTC privileges and the two questions are (1) written by the same user and (2) very similar in content, then the system will let you mark one as a duplicate of the other even if the target does not have an answer with positive score nor an accepted answer. $\endgroup$
    – Sycorax Mod
    Commented Jul 7, 2020 at 1:12
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    $\begingroup$ Is there anything to prevent a sufficiently desperate OP to open new accounts that keep asking the question again? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 8, 2020 at 9:49
  • $\begingroup$ @ChristophHanck If you mean anything that automatically prevent that, no, there isn't anything that prevent that. A user who creates new accounts to continue to write low quality posts would get the attention of moderators, though. $\endgroup$
    – apaderno
    Commented Jul 11, 2020 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


@Tim is right: users will be automatically banned by the SE system from asking (answering) questions if they have too many posts that are negatively scored, closed, or deleted. The exact parameters of the ban are not disclosed, even to moderators. The moderators do not have the ability to impose or lift it.

That said, you don't have to wait for that ban to kick in. If you see someone reask a closed question, flag it for moderator attention. We can close it and talk to the OP. We can also keep an eye on them for a bit. If they keep posting anyway, we can temporarily prevent them. It is unlikely this would need to go very far to address the issue. In truth, we don't want people to get bans. Those bans are, in effect, permanent. As I noted above, moderators can't lift them. So it's better to talk to them and get them on a better track right away.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I immediately flagged it when I saw it and will keep doing so in the future $\endgroup$
    – Stochastic
    Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:12

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