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A new user has been asking questions (mostly) about Newtonian Mechanics from time to time (which happens to be my top tag). Said user generally begins questions with "I aspire to become like you guys and am only a beginner" (they even made a question out of it once) (I can put up with that). They regularly post homework questions- and reject answers because it doesn't satisfy their intuition. I've left multiple comments on their questions but they're all ignored. They don't seem particularly familiar with the scope of this site, and responded to a (helpful) comment as "please don't talk to me you downvoted".

The thing is, the questions could actually be valuable if they were better phrased and contained less of what the user feels about this site.

[A previous version of this Meta post included a screenshot typical question by this user.] I'd have linked some more, but most of them have been deleted.

How does the Physics SE deal with such users generally, apart from downvoting and commenting? Is there a more effective way to guide them?

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  • $\begingroup$ You can downvote questions you think are bad. You can edit them yourself if you think they are salvagable. Users with sufficient rep can vote to close questions if they are unsalvagable or otherwise do not adhere to PSE guidelines. Also, I think that moderators have additional tools to potentially deal with situations like this such as banning users for a time period or restricting them from asking questions for a period of time (but I'm not a mod so I don't know for sure). $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Commented Jan 6 at 19:31
  • $\begingroup$ @hft I'd do that, but one time their question was closed and they just reposted it. It's throwing water on a duck's back. They're just not very sympathetic to the rules of this site. Also, can we bring the moderator's attention to a particular user? I know how to flag, but that's just for questions and such. $\endgroup$
    – Stuti
    Commented Jan 6 at 19:39
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    $\begingroup$ I think the moderators would tell you to focus on the questions, not the user. It is not your job to discipline other users. Leave that to mods, if needed. And if the user is reposting a closed or deleted question, you can flag the new question and write that in the flag comments. $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Commented Jan 6 at 19:41
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    $\begingroup$ @hft Understood. $\endgroup$
    – Stuti
    Commented Jan 6 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ please don't talk to me you downvoted I got this as well from that user. My response was to explain clearly why I downvoted. (But of course it’s OK to downvote without explanation.) $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Jan 6 at 23:59
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    $\begingroup$ I've left multiple comments on their questions but they're all ignored. They might not be ignored by other users, who may be encouraged by your comments to downvote since the comments make clear that the OP is not improving the question. $\endgroup$
    – Ghoster
    Commented Jan 7 at 0:07

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I have identified the user in question based on your post. (Users without moderator superpowers can't use exactly the method that I used, but I've edited your post a little bit just in case, to give this user a little more privacy.)

I've left multiple comments on their questions but they're all ignored.

Beware of a cognitive error here. A message which does not receive a prompt written response, or even a bit of advice which is not immediately followed, has not necessarily been ignored. A commenter under your post points out that your comments may also be valuable to other readers of the questions, in addition to the asker.

[they] responded to a (helpful) comment as "please don't talk to me you downvoted".

That's rude. Flag it. (In fact, this particular comment was flagged and removed.) If you find yourself feeling baited into responding in kind, turn off your computer and take a walk instead.

The thing is, the questions could actually be valuable if they were better phrased and contained less of what the user feels about this site.

If you are prepared to engage in a mentoring relationship with this person to help cultivate such improvements, good for you. If you don't have the patience for such a relationship, or they aren't receptive, that needs to be okay. If there is an exceptional question which you think deserves to be salvaged, you might consider asking an on-topic version of that question yourself — making sure to refer back to the original, and perhaps making your question "community wiki" so that you don't seem to be just farming reputation points.

one time their question was closed and they just reposted it.

Yeah, people do that, especially new people. It ordinarily doesn't take much correction for them to stop.

How does the Physics SE deal with such users generally, apart from downvoting and commenting? Is there a more effective way to guide them?

I, an optimist, would also include upvoting of useful content in that list.

Can we bring the moderator's attention to a particular user? I know how to flag, but that's just for questions and such.

You can raise a custom flag which explains the pattern you are seeing. Multiple standard flags will have the same effect — we keep an eye on usernames as we monitor the flag queue. There are a number of situations which can cause a user with low-quality contributions to have their ability to contribute restricted, and those also send the user to the various relevant bits of the Help Center.

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