I believe we've come to the point where 25-50% of the questions posted are posted by new users and almost always do not follow the rules (duplicate, no winning condition). Whenever you look at the questions page it's filled with closed questions.

Should we add more explicit warnings / notifications to new users that notify them of the rules?

To me it's clear that currently there is not enough information notifying them of the fact that we have these rules before they post. This is not a recurring problem - it nearly always happens once and not again.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ New users tend not to visit the help center, it seems. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Aug 22, 2015 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ SE already tries to detect duplicates based on the title, tags, and body of the question. It doesn't always work for this site because sometimes the spirit of a challenge can be identical while the setup is not. In that case it's unlikely that a new user would be any more likely to find the duplicate themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 4:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The help center is made fairly obvious in the upper right corner of "Ask Question" page. I think most sites would benefit from having it be more obvious. I'm sure we aren't the only site with a high volume of questions by new users that don't quite fit into the site's guidelines. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 4:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is it possible to migrate closed questions by first time users to answers in the sandbox thread? That way they wouldn't clutter the front page, and the poster could get useful feedback and possibly re-post them once they have been improved. \$\endgroup\$
    – samgak
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @samgak I don't think that's possible. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 6:38
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It might have changed in the meantime, but a year or so ago I made a new account to see what the process was when asking your first question on an SE site. In my opinion, the only way to avoid the numerous tips and advice links is to willfully ignore them. Of course, many internet users are implicitly trained to do this, so it's not surprising when they do. However, it makes me question the effectiveness of yet another popup or in-your-face info box. \$\endgroup\$
    – Geobits
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am marking this as status-planned because we are able to get the first-time popup modified which will hopefully help, and I will be drafting up a request to mark status-review soon. \$\endgroup\$
    – hyper-neutrino Mod
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


Yes I think we should. I am not sure about the actual number but I too have the impression that many first posts are on the one hand good ideas, but on the other hand poorly executed or duplicates of existing challenges or just do not 'fit' in/comply with the rules.

I am not sure whether this is a good idea: I'd like to suggest that you need more reputation in order to post challenges (or if you want to post earlier, you have to have a mods approval or something like that). This would lead to new users first having to gain some experience here by first participating in some challenges.

The backdraw of course could be a discuragement for new members, and we are still quite a small community (the active part).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think we should limit posting to a reputation. I was more thinking about a popup message that displays before posting a question for users with low rep (or perhaps just first question) that notifies them of the most common problems (no objective winning criterion, duplicates, underspecification, etc) and that forces them to press some button 'yes, I'm sure this question is valid'. \$\endgroup\$
    – orlp
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 7:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @orlp I like that idea, but I am not sure whether we can actually do that on SE. Another thought I had was that we actually want to encourage people to participate (I assume?=) and from that perspective I just aksed myself whether it is better to have a notification before they start writing the question (or before and at subitting). @ Limiting Reputation: That is perhaps really not a very good idea, as users coming from other SE sites allready get a headstart of 100reps... \$\endgroup\$
    – flawr
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 8:00
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Imposing a restriction on who can ask a question seems against the general principle and purpose of SE: making it easy for anyone to get answers to their questions. I can't speak for the devs, but I don't know that they'd be willing to make an exception for us. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex A.
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 4:11

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