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Admittedly, my first mistake was being a noob on Arqade - I should have jumped on long ago. Nevertheless, I posted answers to two questions, which I thought were helpful answers. These were both thumbed down, each one once, then deleted, and my account was banned. Albeit, both users thumbing down thought they were helpful answers but not a solution.

As a new user, I don't have the ability to add comments to improve my reputation as suggested by the Help Desk. I don't know why improving the deleted answers will help gain thumb ups because the only users able to see them are administrators (right?), and since my account is banned I'm not able to offer new answers to improve my reputation anywhere on Arqade.

I don't want to sound defeatist/helpless but I think I just got my butt handed to me.

Questions

  • What can I do to get my account re-activated so that I can give new answers?
  • Is this standard SE procedure for all noobs who get two thumbs down: answers deleted and account banned?
  • I thought a thumb down was just that, a thumb down. I realize they should be helpful but does every answer on SE need to provide a final solution to the OP?
  • What cardinal rule did I violate to have my answers deleted with a single thumb down?

Thank you in advance.

Questions with my deleted answers:

  1. No region wall in SimCity?
  2. SimCity 2013: is the truck shipping bug fixed?
  • Can you link to the answers? – TZHX Apr 14 '15 at 21:25
  • A downvote does not delete an answer. – Arperum Apr 14 '15 at 21:29
  • FYI, you have actually three answers on your account. – badp Apr 14 '15 at 21:35
  • @badp I think you might be looking at my Stack Overflow account? – dan Apr 15 '15 at 2:50
  • @dan Nope. Definitely Three. More than two, less than four. (Links are 10k only, obvs). – LessPop_MoreFizz Apr 15 '15 at 4:34
  • @lesspop_morefizz totally forgot about that one, thanks. – dan Apr 15 '15 at 11:36
3

What can I do to get my account re-activated so that I can give new answers?

Two ways come to mind to do this:

  • Post a few good questions

  • Edit your deleted answers. Every user with 10k rep or more can see all deleted posts, so if you improve an answer enough, you or others could un-delete it which brings me to:

I thought a thumb down was just that, a thumb down. I realize they should be helpful but does every answer on SE need to provide a final solution to the OP?

Yes. Every answer must contain a complete solution to the problem.

Odds are you posted things which should be comments as answers, since you don't have rep enough to comment yet. These then got flagged as non-answers, and here you are. The idea there is that people need to earn some rep before they can comment so that the system isn't overwhelmed with nonsense or spam. The more the system trusts you, the more places you can put content, but at the start, all you can do is ask questions and give (full) answers.

Is this standard SE procedure for all noobs who get two thumbs down: answers deleted and account banned?

I'm not sure about the exact numbers, but yes, yes it is. Accounts who repeatedly post stuff that gets deleted or otherwise deemed as poor quality will get banned so as to cut down on noise and moderation that has to be done.

What cardinal rule did I violate to have my answers deleted with a single thumb down?

I can't check without links to those answers (if you wanna link the questions you answered I could have a look at your answers) but like I said earlier, you probably posted comments as answers because you can't comment yet.

Recognizing this is a problem is a good start! What I would do if I were you is to edit your existing answers into better ones, and watch out for a question you can answer completely. Maybe find an original question to ask. Again, I'm not certain on the exact numbers, but it should only take a few upvotes to get you back in business.

Good luck!

  • 2
    On a side note, Arqade is probably one of the easiest sites to ask questions on simply because there are so many games out there that have things people could potentially need help on. – Powerlord Apr 14 '15 at 21:38
  • 1
    @powerlord thank you, I was going to learn the ropes of SE on Arqade since the subject matter is so fertile and broad. I thought I would understand the system better to be a better contributor on Stack Overflow, plus I'm spending a ton of time in SimCity and have discovered several solutions to common frustrations. – dan Apr 15 '15 at 2:54
  • @johnthegreen that's helpful – dan Apr 15 '15 at 2:55
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Most of your questions are answered in this helpful Stack Overflow meta post, which I would greatly encourage you to read through in its entirety.

Some tips from the post:

"Before you do anything else, fix your existing posts! As noted above, down-votes cast by the rest of the community factor into the ban - so the single best thing you can do to get it lifted is to address any objections raised by others. Were your past questions unclear? Did they fail to show any effort on your part? Poorly worded, titled, formatted, and overly long or short? Then fix them!"

It's not just about downvotes, its also about quality. Make sure you give detailed answers using proper spelling and grammar, and that the answers are good quality, informative answers.

Downvotes don't automatically make a question get deleted, but they are usually a good indication that the community doesn't think you are giving good quality content. Make sure your answers actually respond to what the question is actually asking, and isn't just superfluous information that only tangentially relates to the question's content. Read the questions carefully, and make sure you understand them before you answer.

While you are answer banned, you can still ask questions. This isn't as effective as making sure your already existing answers are awesome, but it will help, if you start asking good quality questions that the community responds well to.

If you want to edit any of your deleted answers in an attempt to salvage them, and perhaps make them more useful to the wider community (taking any comments or guidance you got on them into account), you are free to do so, and you can always flag them for moderator attention once you have done so to have them considered for undeletion. (This is still very much up to the moderator who sees the flag, so make sure they are of good quality and answer the question the OP is asking before you take this route, as it is entirely possible the mod will decline the flag if the answers still aren't of quality, and you will be back to where you started.)

  • I went back to edit/improve my answer to the question about the SimCity Region Wall and flagged it for undelete and received the message: 'A moderator has deleted this post it cannot be undeleted'. So what is the point of improving the post if only moderators can see it and it can't be undeleted? – dan Apr 15 '15 at 12:01
  • @dan diamond mods can undelete the post, so I can take a look. – Ash Apr 15 '15 at 12:03
  • I have undeleted that answer, as you have now attempted to offer the OP a solution. From here, keep improving your posts, ask some good questions, etc - if you keep at it, eventually the answer ban will lift. – Ash Apr 15 '15 at 12:08
  • I returned to clean up one of my other answers and the 'flag for undelete' button still doesn't work. Here's the question: gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/169846/… – dan Apr 30 '15 at 21:02
  • I don't know if a comment bumps a topic. Since I need to gain some attention to direct it over to my deleted answers for review (as they have since been improved per the discussion here) which can't be voted for undelete since they are marked for deletion, I found this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/125838/…. This worked and the question is only voted down now. – dan May 5 '15 at 11:38
  • Keep in mind that just because you improved the answers and they have been undeleted, it doesn't guarantee attention or votes (positive or negative) from the community. I would heavily suggest also asking some good quality questions as well, as that will likely help you along if the ban hasn't lifted. Also, comments don't bump questions - only edits to the question and answer do, but I would not suggest this as a tactic to get more attention unless you actually have made substantial edits that actually make sense (aka don't just edit a few characters to bump the post). – Ash May 5 '15 at 11:46
  • Indeed. Although it doesn't sound like it from my comment, I only want genuine approval of my answers. Thanks for the clarification on comments. – dan May 5 '15 at 20:37

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