In my early days of using Physics Stack Exchange, I had no idea how the website worked and admittedly didn't do my research. And I'm talking about one question.

I've asked only 6 questions - two with a total of 3 downvotes asked a while ago, one without any positive or negative votes, and three (my latest questions) with a total of 5 upvotes.

In addition to this, all of my answers except one (which received no up/downvotes) have had positive votes, have been accepted, or have had both.

Because of the above, it came to my total surprise when I got the following message:

Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account. See the Help Center to learn more.

I read the article, and while 30% of my answers have downvotes, my 'contributions' obviously outweigh these downvotes.

If my negative votes were only on my oldest question, and one question I asked a month ago (which was succeeded by questions with only positive votes), then why is it that StackExchange bans me? Is the entire system really that undemocratic? Is it a technical bug? Is it some rule that I skipped?

Here's my account for reference.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Note that you also have 3 closed & deleted questions with negative score. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic Mod
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ I'm back on the community after an upvote on one of my older questions. Thanks for the help everyone. $\endgroup$
    – user143777
    Commented Nov 19, 2017 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


You have been automatically restricted from asking further questions due to the rolling rate limit and/or the comprehensive question ban, and should be directed to this help center page by the message you get.

The exact algorithm by which these question blocks are imposed is not public to avoid people gaming it, but it is known that questions which are downvoted, closed and deleted factor into it, and questions which are all three count with a much higher weight. For another instantiation of this philosophy, see the notion of a positive question record.

Now, this record is not what the question block uses, but it might be instructive to compute it for your case, anyway:

You have asked 10 questions, four of which are deleted, five of which are closed and five of which currently have negative score. This means your question record is $$ \frac{10 - 4 - 5 - 5}{10} = -0.4,$$ which is far below the $0.5$ SE considers the minimum for having a "positive question record".

  • $\begingroup$ For some reason, even I'm facing the same problem. Most of my questions usually have upvotes, and I thought SE is an organisation that offers academic help (NOT homework and exercises, but rather conceptual problems and confusions that textbooks don't address). The sudden and surprising restriction to post questions makes me question if SE is really that undemocratic? Is it meant only for a few people whose questions don't get downvoted? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 6:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @user28968 Right now you have four questions, two downvoted, two closed, one deleted. "Most of my questions usually have upvotes" is therefore blatantly false, and I don't understand why both you and the poster use "undemocratic" as an accusation - who ever promised you the process that restricts you from using a privately-owned internet site would be democratic? $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Sep 23, 2017 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ (1) I'd like to apologize for providing incorrect information, I was including the math and chemistry SE sites also while counting the upvotes. (2) Is it possible to get a second chance, or has my account been permanently blocked from posting questions? I request Physics SE to reconsider the restriction imposed and I'll try my best to not only adhere to the community standards in the future, but also to help in its growth as an active participant in discussions. Thanks. @ACuriousMind♦ $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2017 at 3:20
  • $\begingroup$ @ACuriousMind How can I calculate my positive question record? I mean is there any short system? I can't just calculate the questions and then do the calculations. This will take a lot of time. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Theoretical It's the sum of 4 numbers (as mentioned in this post) divided by the number of questions you asked. That doesn't take time. The only possible complication is the deleted questions which may or may not be visible to you. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 12:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Theoretical Except for the number of deleted questions, you can probably get the numbers from the SE Data Explorer if you know a bit of SQL. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 16:10

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