I know this is likely a duplicate of How should we handle users who generate consistently low-quality and off-topic questions? But, that seems like a discussion of a more egregious offender than the person who is irking me.

There is a particular poster who is using up all of my close votes in a day by asking the same types of questions over and over again.

These questions are not particularly "low-quality" but rather asking about punctuation and grammatical usages that should be easily found using standard English resources. I have left this person multiple comments to this effect, but they continue in spite of this.

It wouldn't bother me, except that this person posts many, many posts which I'm encountering in the review queues. [They probably hit the daily max and, despite that volume of output, their reputation has remained in the 400 range.]

I am deliberately trying not to mention the person directly or post an example question, here yet.

My issue lies in the signal-to-noise ratio. This poster likely has a few valuable posts, but given the sheer number of posts they are making, it's eaten a considerable amount of my time casting close votes, etc. It makes me default to assuming their question is not valid.

  • This question refers to your topic as well. As for using up your close votes, there is no need to use them at all, and there is every reason to limit them. Mar 3, 2014 at 0:06
  • @Susan I admit that I was basing the number of posts upon my seeing them in the various queues. I will edit above to reflect that. Thanks!
    – David M
    Mar 3, 2014 at 0:07
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    From a discussion in comments tonight, I got the impression that this user has not visited the help center, does not know what's on topic here, does not know how to search for answers before posting, and does not understand that his posts are mostly being closed or what that means. Mar 3, 2014 at 3:46
  • @BraddSzonye I concur with your assessment.
    – David M
    Mar 3, 2014 at 3:48
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    @BraddSzonye - I'm not so sure. Comments at times reveal a bit of amusement at our expense. Mar 3, 2014 at 4:06
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    I did suspect that he might be trolling, especially when he claimed not to know what “ELU” and “trolling” are. But other comments he's made seem more like simple cluelessness and perhaps compulsiveness. Mar 3, 2014 at 4:15
  • The difficulty is that this particular user is asking a number of interesting question and in an interesting manner. Just unfortunately, the questions are not well thought out. Minimal research is done via ngrams, but that tends to be uninformative.
    – Mitch
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


How to handle a series of very similar worded questions?

  • Treat each and every question on its individual merits.
  • If it's a duplicate, flag it as such.
  • If it's boring, ignore it.
  • If the answer is obvious, use the comment section.
  • Wait at least a few hours before closing it as being "off-topic" etc. because someone might answer the question brilliantly.
  • Let off steam in meta (or in chat).

Frankly, hearing someone who is using up all their closedown votes in one day, smacks to me of obsession. Chill out. They're only words. This applies to other more illustrious users who often feel the need to express their frustrations, reminding us that their quota has been met. Lets instead remind ourselves, EL&U is not a crusade.

EDIT The above tactics/solutions do not apply if the offender is trolling, or deliberately acting obtuse after receiving several warnings. In those cases, suspension is the answer. I do not believe the user in question is a troll, and I believe that a moderator ought to send him a personal message advising him/her to slow down and explaining why.

  • Santa Pazienza! (A man in Rome said that to me. About me. While waving four fingers towards heaven. I repeated it, imitating him, and he laughed.) Did you see this? Uno ha bisogno la pazienza di Giobbe. Mar 3, 2014 at 11:28
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    Not obsession. I just handle what was presented to me by the close vote queue. The other day I found over 25 waiting for review and nearly half were belonging to this poster. And, I agreed with most of the other assessments.
    – David M
    Mar 3, 2014 at 14:29
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    By the way, you can easily use up your close votes just by using the Review Tools. Especially if you only visit once or twice a week.
    – MrHen
    Mar 9, 2014 at 17:42
  • +1 good answer. @DavidM Another way of summarizing this is: Ignore the user name, it is irrelevant to the questions.
    – Jason C
    Mar 12, 2014 at 0:09
  • @JasonC That is true. But, it is irritating that the business of the site gets interrupted by a clogging of the review queue.
    – David M
    Mar 12, 2014 at 0:11
  • @DavidM Well, I fart in your review queue's general direction! Come hang out on StackOverflow for a while. There's 100k+ questions in that queue and we could certainly use more serial reviewers.
    – Jason C
    Mar 12, 2014 at 0:12
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    @JasonC Your mother was a hamster ... Nah, not gonna go all Monty Python. I don't know diddly or squat about computer programming, so I'd be less than useful there. Also, if it makes you feel any differently, the person in question got suspended. I wasn't the only one being irritated.
    – David M
    Mar 12, 2014 at 0:27
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    Never wait to close questions. They're either on-topic or not. Nov 3, 2014 at 2:59

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