I'm rather new here and have low rep. In spite of my state of relative ignorance, I have had the audacity to post three questions that haven't been received very well. One was closed, one was marked "duplicate" and one about programming style has disappeared.

Recently I had a question on my mind, but was informed about the risk of being banned.

To minimize this risk, I wonder if there is a way to get a question previewed, before posting.

This may seem like an odd question, but merely is a reflection of having limited knowledge and therefore a need to ask. However I do understand the importance of SE policy and stringency to remain a site of high quality.

  • 5
    nah, just go ahead and post. Of course, searching the site for already existing solutions and putting effort into the question is always beneficial. Apart from that this site is rather good-natured.
    – Yves Klett
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 18:24
  • 5
    Don't take it all too serious. A duplicate is not really seen as something negative, but acts as a pointer to other question & answers that cover the same issue. It takes care that useful answers are not scattered all over the place. Your other question was closed as off-topic (which it was) but it received a number of useful comments. Nothing really to worry about and please feel welcome to post more questions. Commented May 9, 2014 at 19:27
  • 1
    @Yves Klett & Sjoerd C. de Vries: Thank you for you kind answers. In time you will perhaps notice that I have rather thick skin, however when I get a warning like "...you're in danger of being blocked from asking any more." I do take it quite serious, since I value this site immensely. Well your comments make the situation a bit more nuanced. Thank you.
    – MathLind
    Commented May 9, 2014 at 19:47
  • @YvesKlett, Site is rather good-natured? You may wanna read meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/251758/…
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 8:53
  • @Pacerier I was referring to Mathematica.SE in contrast to e.g. SO.
    – Yves Klett
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 9:00
  • @YvesKlett, Good point.
    – Pacerier
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 9:46
  • I was just alerted to this question because my answer hit 10 votes. Looking back at your profile and current participation, it's fair to say there was no cause for concern. Thank you for your participation in the site! We are glad you are getting something out of it.
    – Verbeia
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 2:31
  • 1
    @Verbeia Thank you for your kind comment. I return to this site every day, at least for a quick peak. Always very helpful and talented people.
    – MathLind
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 4:54

2 Answers 2


I have not been able to find a warning to you directly that you are at risk from being banned. Perhaps I missed it. Anyway, a couple of out of scope questions and one duplicate is hardly worthy of a suspension. But perhaps this is an opportune time to explain our practice on suspensions.

  • aside from spam and other rule violations, users are occasionally suspended for low-quality questions.

    • low quality questions usually attract a lot of down votes. Problems with these questions include being unclear, hastily written, obvious from the documentation and generally lazy, no-effort questions. We discourage these because they are disrespectful of the other site users' time.
  • in the case of low-quality questions, we usually but not always warn the user first using a moderator’s private message. Sometimes we warn in comments too, but not always.

  • The usual practice is that a first suspension is only for seven days. The objective is to give someone a timeout to reflect on their question quality and do better next time.

  • just because a question is closed does not mean it is low quality. There are other reasons for closing.

So in general people should not tiptoe around fearing they will be banned. We do try to keep quality quite high, but we do not suspend users lightly. This is actually one of the friendlier SE sites, but we don't want to see poor-quality questions. Our warning and suspension tools help us keep the site as a high-quality resource.

Looking at your questions, they were out of scope but not low quality as such. So don't worry as long as you don't suddenly start posting lazy questions. The question that disappeared was deleted automatically by the system because it had no upvoted answers.

  • 1
    The warning appears when I press the "Ask Question" - button. It says: Wait! Some of your past questions have not been well-received, and you are in danger of (red text) being blocked from asking any more. (end red text). Since a great deal of my work involves evaluating risks, I interpret these words as an imminent risk of being banned. This and only this, is the reason for my question. That said, I fully support the policy of SE you explained.
    – MathLind
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 7:35
  • Since it would be reasonble to expect a certain level of frustration among the more experienced of you, having to give every newcomer like my self the 101, I thinkt it would be a good idea of having an "entry level". This would relieve the newbies from the sense of having to tip-toe and would keep the ordinary SE-Mathematica cleaner. The good questions could then be moved up if appropriate. I see this as a win-win.
    – MathLind
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 7:36
  • 2
    @Mathlind disagree - newbies can and quite often do post great questions (and are actively assisted to do so) . No need to build a (discriminating) two-tier system.
    – Yves Klett
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 9:15
  • 1
    @MathLind - but we provide plenty of guidance for new users already, so training wheels shouldn't generally needed. See here and here. The system warns people with consecutive closed questions, but the decision to suspend rests with human moderators. You are a long way from any case I would consider suspension. Which makes me wonder what some of the people we have suspended were thinking.
    – Verbeia
    Commented May 10, 2014 at 11:46

I don't know what rules the site robot uses to put the warning message you are seeing on the ask-a-question page, but whatever they are they don't seem to be very good ones. You have received 40 rep points from two questions and, in the current voting environment, that's not bad at all.

My advice is too ignore the robot and continue to participate. It will go away.

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