So...I just joined this community today, and have posted several answers (SciFi Fantasy, not Meta), and I am now receiving the message that the site is no longer accepting answers from my account? I haven't posted anything (knowingly?) inappropriate, and have been offered no feedback of any kind, other than what's posted in the standard FAQ section.

I tried to backtrack through my posts and don't see any downvotes, but I don't remember every single topic I've looked at - I was really having fun exploring the site! I did notice that my newly-won reputation went from 11 to 1. What's going on? This is a really fantastic way to treat a new user. Maybe a better way would be to say "Hey, we know you're new, but you shouldn't have done this (insert offensive action here), so...don't do that!"

.......As with ALL the Stack family of sites, I am familiar with the tours and policies, and am unsure what happened or what I could possibly have posted that's so offensive I've been banned on my first visit?! If this site is like the rest of Stack, high-rep users and mods should be able to see my list of posts, can you tell me what I did wrong? The FAQ says you can go back and edit the offending post, but how am I supposed to do that with no direction as to where I was (apparently) heinously, unforgivably wrong? A little help here?

I'd like to remain a part of the community, and am happy to play by the rules, but polite and detailed feedback can really be helpful in a situation like this...

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    What was the account? The one you used on this question? – SQB May 20 '15 at 19:48
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    Sorry about that. I got a bit confused, and forgot this posting is actually the Meta site. My posting was this same account, Dawn Deschain, on the regular SciFi Fantasy site. I asked the question here because it's more a question about the site itself than something topical such as Star Trek or the Dark Tower. – user45906 May 20 '15 at 19:50
  • I can think of one answer that I'd posted which may actually have gotten flagged as "not useful" or "not an answer"; it was a light-hearted response that could've been an answer, but it was more tongue-in-cheek. I considered not posting it, but had though it would be more of a friendly response, and it is plausible. Would just one flag cause my account to get banned? If that's the case, I would be happy to just go delete that answer, although that would definitely be sad, as considering the topics are SciFi/Fantasy and not say, JavaScript coding, so not everything can be concrete-correct... – user45906 May 20 '15 at 19:53
  • A mod will be able to give you a little more insight, but it sounds like you hit the automatic ban due to a number of downvoted or deleted answers. This is the specific page on answer bans. – ptfreak May 20 '15 at 19:59
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    @DawnDeschain - I suspect your problem is that you haven't lurked enough. It sounds like you aren't familiar with what gets upvoted (e.g. well-sourced answers) and you're treating the site like a message board rather than a Q+A forum. I implore you to watch the tour and read the FAQ – Valorum May 20 '15 at 20:05
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    The answer I saw most recently flagged was your Dark Tower answer. I didn't agree with the flag, but it was a bit rambly, and edged off-topic for much of it. I did, however, think that there was an answer buried in there, which I think you could tighten up and turn into a viable answer (even if I disagree with it). – phantom42 May 20 '15 at 20:28
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    So, I'm curious, with the answers you've received, how do you feel about it now? – SQB May 21 '15 at 19:22
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    @SQB I would guess, from the general tone of this post and the comments here, and on her answer to a recent post on meta.SE about gender bias, that she won't be responding. – Ward - Reinstate Monica May 22 '15 at 0:45
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    @ward - I take offense that my attitude toward this user was affected by gender bias. Until this question was posted, I was totally unaware that the poster was a woman. I certainly didn't check the profile, I merely saw an off-topic answer and whacked it with the modhammer – Valorum May 22 '15 at 9:51
  • May I mention that this has happened to me to? I got one upvoted comment, so i didn't see what I'd done wrong, but I saw it said that having no votes counted too... I deleted the comments that had no votes, but I still can't comment. – Mikasa May 31 '15 at 15:09

In short, your entire contribution has been either inappropriate or off-topic. Of the six answer you've posted, 4 have already been flagged as comments and the remaining two have been flagged for deletion at least once and have attracted a downvote apiece.

Simply put, this site isn't intended for discussion, it's intended for Q+A. Literally the first line of the Tour is that...

This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.

You've said that you're "familiar with the tours and policies" but I note that you've not read the site tour (which would have earned you the bronze participation badge for doing so), nor have you taken the time to read through the FAQ, both of which would have given you a really good insight into what we're about.

Might I suggest that rather than diving in feet first, you take a brief while to learn and understand what this community is about, then focus on providing some strong answers to build up your reputation, which will in turn allow you to post all the comments you like.


I don't know the special sauce that goes into an answer ban (thanks ptfreak, for the link!), but I can provide some feedback on your posts so far. You've posted 6 answers.

4 of those are currently deleted. 3 of those were comments posted as answers. So my first piece of feedback is to not post comments as answers. When you're submitting an answer, it's expected to provide a complete solution to the question. If you're adding a note to another answer, that's a comment, wait until you've earned 50 reputation and then make these sorts of posts, as comments.

The other 2 posts are, unfortunately, not in tags that I am familiar with, so my advice will be general. This site is kinda strict about the quality of answers. A great answer will outline its argument, and will include quotations (or other appropriate sourcing). A decent answer will just outline its argument, referencing things from the source material. A bad answer will state pure conjecture, not backed by actual events from the source material. So to garner more upvotes, I'd recommend working up that ladder. If your answer is just your opinion, try to edit in references to why you think that, and if possible include a quote, or a screenshot, or a reference to back that up. Do that, and you'll be more successful in answering. I also highly recommend browsing tags for material you're familiar with, and seeing what highly-voted posts look like, so you can see what specific things to emulate in your posts.

For your existing posts, you need to edit them, and then I'd recommend flagging for undeletion so a mod can resurrect them. Once they garner some upvotes the answer ban should be lifted.

You can also discuss this topic with us in chat. We have a general site room, Mos Eisley, and we have several other rooms focused on specific topics or franchises. There's usually a few people hanging out, we're happy to help out new users.

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    +1 to this. Come join us in chat as soon as you've garnered a little rep. We won't bite. – Valorum May 20 '15 at 20:02
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    @Richard You need 20 rep to chat. – user56 May 20 '15 at 20:14
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    @Gilles - So, two upvotes or a few accepted edits. Heck, even one crappy question about whether Harry Potter ever trimmed Hedwig's toenails would get you there. – Valorum May 20 '15 at 20:15
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    @Richard Yes, but that's not the point. You're suggesting that Dawn comes to chat, but this is not possible at the moment since she doesn't have 20 rep. – user56 May 20 '15 at 20:17
  • @Gilles - Good point. Comment cheerfully edited. – Valorum May 20 '15 at 20:21
  • @Gilles This user has that, on other SE sites. – user1027 May 20 '15 at 20:54
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    @Richard - not everyone has your magical ability to conjure rep out of thin air :))) – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 22 '15 at 21:36
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    Ironic coming from the guy who can literally conjure rep on every site he goes on. – corsiKa May 26 '15 at 22:06

Both of your answers are about how you feel and your opinion. This site isn't for discussion or opinions; it's for verifiable factual answers. I wouldn't have banned you for it, and I don't know if you've been banned, but they're very low-quality answers for this site.

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    When speaking about fiction, how can a person say that the site is only for fact? We are speaking about fictional characters, scenarios, and the plausible-but-not-yet-possible. I can see my response of "Quasi-gods" as being perhaps a non-answer, although I could cite the Chronicles of Riddick using "Quasi-Deads" to describe certain elders of the Necromonger race who were more than Necromonger, less than Holy Half-Dead... and yet we are still dealing with fiction. Not fact... – user45906 May 20 '15 at 19:56
  • Answer with no possible "factual" solution: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/4174/… – user45906 May 20 '15 at 19:58
  • Another answer with no possible "factual" solution: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/47105/… – user45906 May 20 '15 at 19:58
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    Lots of questions about fiction have factual rather than fictional answers. "What date was this published?" "What in the author's writings supports this interpretation of the text?" "Is there any canonical evidence for this theory?" Look at the accepted answers for the two questions to which you posted answers, and you'll see that they're factual answers supported by textual evidence. – Mike Scott May 20 '15 at 19:59
  • Factual answer WITH an upvote... scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/27663/… – user45906 May 20 '15 at 20:00
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    @DawnDeschain For any online community you join, it's always a good idea to spend some time to figure out how it works, what the norms are, and so on. Between the comments above and the fact that you only signed up here today, it sounds like you aren't patient enough to put in that time. You've been given a lot of feedback here, you shouldn't ignore it. – Ward - Reinstate Monica May 20 '15 at 20:12
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    They may not have "factual" answers, but we expect answers to have explanations. You think "Los" is his real name. Great. Why? Cite some passages or an interview or something that gives credence to that idea. There's no "factual" answer for whether or not the characters can make choices of their own - but you say you believe they can. Great. Why? What in the book(s) makes you think that? (Hint: the fact that you've read the books multiple times isn't one of the reasons.) – phantom42 May 20 '15 at 20:35
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    "Factual" does not refer to real-world facts, but rather facts and possibilities within the universe Of the functional work. Welcome to SFF, hopefully you can make an effort to try and stay and contribute. If you believe that your input is worthy, then that's great, and is the first step! Just take some time to show us! Also, the auto ban is in place to give you a chance to not get too many DVs or closures, it's like a cooling-off period :) – Möoz May 20 '15 at 21:50

I don't know why you got that message, but I do know it's often system generated, not by a mod here.

You start with 1 point of rep. I don't see any votes whatsoever. If you had 11 earlier on (as your userbox still shows right now), you may have had an upvote that was retracted.

I flagged both your answers as "not an answer" (but only after you drew attention to them by asking this), because quite frankly, they aren't.

The longest one states quite clearly that it's (just) your feelings about the subject, not a sourced answer. The other one is just a comment in passing. If they've received more flags, that may have triggered your temporary ban.

You say you're familiar with the tour and policies, but it seems you're not. Please take some time to understand that this is a Q&A site, not a discussion forum or a message board.

But all of this doesn't mean you're not welcome here. Please take the tour, read through the help section, read some questions and their answers and try to get the gist of the site. I'm sure you have some good answers in you.


You stated that you have the same profile on other stackexchange sites. If this is the case you should have gotten an automatic 100 reputation points for being a trusted user. You get extra reputation points if your profile is filled out as well. So you should have had plenty of points when you started out on scifi if you used the same profile.

So unlike what others stated you would not have gotten automatically deleted or canceled for a few bad posts if your reputation was let's say 111 when you started out.

So my answer is three fold.

Go to this question I posted:How does up/downvoting work exactly in terms of reputation and do some users have greater ability to affect ones reputation?

Read the answer given by one of the paid employees here. In the comment section it tells you how to go directly to the employees and bypass the moderators.

I would ask them the questions you have here directly. The advice they give is to click on the at the bottom of the page and ask them directly.

The three questions I'd ask them if I were you are simple.

1) Why was my account deleted as a new user. All I did was blank blank blank, no explanation was given, etc.

separate question

2) When I joined the scifi site I should have received 100 points for being a trusted user as I am a member of the other sites. Why didn't I receive the trusted user reputation points. etc.

separate question

3) I feel that the moderator blank has been treating me unfairly. He/She has done the following: present your evidence/feelings on the matter.

That is how I would handle it. I can't pull up your profile to see what you did, but my experience is that there are a few people here, not most, but a few (including moderators) who will fly off the deep end, prejudge, go edit crazy, etc. without reason or provocation. Remember moderators are not gods (even though some might feel that way). Some behavior may be beyond just simple misinterpretation of the rules. It should definitely be reported if you feel that happened to you. Since I cannot pull up your profile or questions/answers I don't know what exactly your violations are or how egregious they are or if they are at all.

Please ask your questions directly to the employees here and voice your opinions to them. It will make this a better site for all.

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    The user may have had an account on multiple sites, but one of the linked accounts has to hit 200 rep before they'll get the association bonus across all of them. This user did not have any accounts with enough rep yet. Also, there were no egregious "violations", there were just a handful of non-answers and answers (like this) that were of questionable/low quality. – phantom42 May 25 '15 at 22:19
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    In any case, this is all beside the point since Dawn deleted her account before your reply was posted. – Ward - Reinstate Monica May 26 '15 at 2:54
  • @phantom42 I read it. I don't know anything about those novels as I have never read them. However, I'm not sure her response was any more speculation or opinion then the other answers given. It seems like the question did not lend itself to an in-canon factual answer. The others may have laid there answers out in a format more familiar to users of the site, but not with better grammar or sentence structure. Hers may have been perceived as more of a feminine perspective speaking in terms of feelings & the like, but it was an attempt to answer the question & there was nothing offensive about it. – JMFB May 26 '15 at 3:38
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    @Ward ...that's a shame. It's a shame that a new user, especially one that wanted to contribute and did nothing offensive was chased away so quickly. It'd be nice to have a woman's perspective on some of the Q&A going on here. – JMFB May 26 '15 at 3:39
  • Can anybody tell me why I got two downvotes? I simply answered her question and told her how to deal with it if she wasn't getting the answers she was looking for. Was there anything I said that was inappropriate or am I getting the same treatment as the unfortunate soul who got the boot on her first day for simply not following the form and structure here on her first day. – JMFB May 26 '15 at 3:42
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    I downvoted because this post is largely wrong. Her account was deleted because she requested it. It was banned from answering (entirely different from account deletion) for reasons mentioned in other answers here. And a moderator didn't ban her from answering unfairly, moderators cannot answer ban people manually; it's an automatic step the SE system takes under certain conditions (admittedly, moderators deleting answers can contribute to those 'certain conditions'). She shouldn't have started with 100 rep here because she didn't meet the criteria for that. – user1027 May 26 '15 at 15:09
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    And your rant in the middle drags down the quality of your answer, and limits its usefulness. – user1027 May 26 '15 at 15:10
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    The only bit here that I agree with is the 'if mods aren't providing satisfaction, contact SE directly' bit. But even there, you're not clearly directing her to the contact us link. – user1027 May 26 '15 at 15:11
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    She was not punished by the mods. The system automatically prevented her from answering more questions, and then the user apparently requested that her account be deleted. We, as a community, provided guidance and tried to explain how to get the system to unban her. She decided she'd rather take her ball and go home. – phantom42 May 26 '15 at 15:49
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    I'm replying to this comment of yours, which makes incorrect assumptions that she was being reprimanded and deleted by the mods. – phantom42 May 26 '15 at 15:58
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    @JMFB Is this part of her issues or something you are going through? Correct me if I am wrong, but as an outsider to this issue, it seems to me that you are getting quite personally attached to this issue of the mods' powers (which is valid and I have no idea what may be going on on your end). But perhaps you need to raise the issue for your own sake, rather than on behalf of the OP? Unless I'm off the mark... – Möoz May 27 '15 at 1:04
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    I'm rather floored by your assertion that a hardcore Q&A site would benefit from "a woman's perspective". This is a hard answers site, not a soft, gender-based discussion forum or whatever. Regardless of a user's gender, answers must be empirical in nature, ideally with textual or other hard evidence to back one's response. Chit-chat, comments as answers, and poor questions are not welcome here. No, do not "give the girl a break" just because the user may be female. Not only is that condescending to all women, but it cultivates gender bias. The rules are in place for us all. Gender aside. – Slytherincess May 27 '15 at 2:41
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    @JMFB You didn't say "give the girl a break"? So, this comment is from some other JMFB? "This is just a scifi Q&A board, give the girl a break, right?" – phantom42 May 28 '15 at 12:09
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    We shouldn't point out her errors on the first day? So, we're not supposed to comment on her posts and delete the non-answers just because it's her first day? Or should we not answer her meta question that she posted, asking about what was wrong with her behavior that got her answer-banned by the system? – phantom42 May 28 '15 at 12:20
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    @phantom42 My bad I did say that in a comment not in my answer. I don't read back through an entire thread each time I write, especially a comment thread this long that has garnered so much interest for some reason. That doesn't take away from the fact that your comments were condescending towards women and that I never said women are soft, need defending, etc. that must be your own predilections you're bringing to the conversation. Corrections are fine, etc. It sounded like she was having problems with a mod & got axed somehow. She asked what to do so I gave some suggestions. – JMFB May 28 '15 at 21:08

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