I have seen the same user with a suspended account post questions 3 times in the past couple of weeks. The first time I encountered this person's question, I wasn't aware of the suspended account so I answered the question. I received a comment that I shouldn't answer questions from suspended users.

Since then, I've seen 2 additional questions from the same user. I flagged both questions with "other", pointing out the users' suspended status and both questions have been closed, but for other reasons (general reference, I believe, in one case).

How are members of the community supposed to know that an account is suspended?

Why are suspended users' questions allowed to be posted?

What should community members do when they see a posting from a suspended account?

  • See: What are the consequences of a suspension?
    – MetaEd
    Jan 6, 2013 at 0:07
  • @Metaed, I read that, and the blog when I first ran across this issue. Neither answers my questions here. This user is known to be suspended, (same user as your link references, incidentally), the questions are new, so what is to stop the user from posting and how should us users respond to these disallowes postings? Thanks for your help! Jan 6, 2013 at 0:15
  • Thank you, everyone, for the input. I also read this related question: meta.english.stackexchange.com/questions/3488/…. I can see that this problem and specific user have already been discussed extensively. Jan 6, 2013 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


Some suspended users circumvent the suspension by creating new accounts ("sockpuppets"), which are merged with their "real" account when the false accounts are found. In the meantime the user has asked his question and goaded community members into answering.

Many of this particular user's questions have in fact been deleted. Where there is an upvoted answer that's less likely to happen (although it has still been done to upvoted answers).

When you see a posting from a suspended account, it's already been dealt with. If you suspect a posting from a sockpuppet account, flag it for moderator attention. Whether you choose to answer it is up to you. Some of the sockpuppets' questions have been interesting.

There's been quite a discussion about it: previous question

  • 1
    Hmm. It seems I wrote much the same at What are the consequences of a suspension. I couldn't find that earlier (thanks @MετάEd)
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jan 6, 2013 at 0:26
  • I just went through all the answers and comments. What I've gleaned is that there is no way SE can block these suspensed users. The moderators delete the questions as they encounter them and the rest of the community should just ignore those users' postings - thereby denying them any sort of attention. I will certainly do that from now on, but still feel bad for newer users who are lured into answering those users' questions. Why can't SE just put a dunce cap on the avatar of those (known) accounts? The Winter Bash did such a good job of that add-on mechanism! Jan 6, 2013 at 1:48
  • @KristinaLopez: The accounts aren't "known", because that user creates new accounts daily. One thing you can do is use a discerning eye, particularly when a question is asked by a new user with a rep of 1, or by a user with a rep equal to (U*5)+1, where U = the number of upvotes for that question.
    – J.R.
    Jan 6, 2013 at 4:25
  • @J.R., thanks for tip on the new user's reputation. I mentioned "known" accounts because the suspended user I'm referring to has used the same user name in 3 different questions. Jan 6, 2013 at 4:42
  • @KristinaLopez: It's not uncommon for said user to get two or three questions posted before someone wises up, and realizes who it is. At that point, you should see the name switch over and get attributed to its real source. Also, if you suspect a question from a "new" user falls into this catagory, you can flag it for moderator attention; that sometimes speeds up the process.
    – J.R.
    Jan 6, 2013 at 4:45
  • @KristinaLopez What I think you are unaware of is that the additional user names are merged into the original user name when we identify them as such. So when you look at those questions you are seeing them under a different name than the one originally used to post them.
    – MetaEd
    Jan 6, 2013 at 17:36

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