In a young site I participate in, the community is trying to figure out how much we want to focus on different parts of the scope, and what is and is not off topic. There's one point that has been controversial, insofar as it's a topic that has dominated the scope so far but not everyone is happy with it. It's prompted one or two meta discussions, but no clear consensus has emerged.

One user asks a lot of questions. A lot. Roughly 20% of the questions asked all-time are by him, and given that he joined late, the percentage of recent questions is far higher. He used to focus on one or two topics, one of which was the controversial topic mentioned above.

Some of his posts are good, while some are not. In the beginning, his posts were fast, furious, and not so good. Now, things have changed, and he asks better questions about a wider range of things, while still somehow maintaining his asking rate.

I'm slightly concerned that he might drift back into asking more questions about the controversial topic. I think that they'll be good questions, judging by his recent progress, but if he does so, a high percentage of questions on the site will be about that topic. It's clear that this is not good, because while it adds more content, it steers the site towards one topic and one topic only.

How can I stop this from happening? I'm not a moderator, but a regular (quite active) user. My position on the issue of the scope being slanted towards this topic is shared by others - and like I said, it's been discussed, to no real consensus - but I've never talked about the user's high question rate, nor, no my knowledge, has anyone else.

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    Why do you think anything has to be done, apart from trusting the community to take care of and evaluate the contributions of the user in question by voting for example? Also, as you say this is a young site, it seems rather natural that depending on the interests of the active users that are already present, not all on-topics are equally well covered. For example MathOverflow initially faced this problem too. So I would just relax and give the representation of the different on-topics on the site time to equilibrate in the long run (other users will join and be interested in different topics) Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 22:12
  • Observing how the question about the "controversial topic" are received by the mainpage users could also be helpful in deciding if such questions should finally be considered on- or off-topic in agreement with what the community wants. If they are well received they should rather be on-topic etc ... Commented Jun 27, 2015 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


This is why voting is a thing. If questions are low quality or causing noise, they can either be downvoted or voted to close as duplicates (if they are too similar to another question). Really, those are the primary methods of discouraging such behavior that isn't helpful to the community.

Beyond that, starting a meta discussion is an option to try to help the user understand how the community views their participation and how they might be able to improve. Just be sure to be polite about it and reassure them that you value their input but want to see them fit in the community and it will likely be ok.

Outside of getting moderators to take action (which it also doesn't sound like you are at that point yet), that's probably about the most effective things you can do.


Bad content is bad content -- regardless as to who posts it.

Good content is good content -- regardless as to who posts it.

If this user is posting good content, it doesn't really matter. If they are posting bad, your site needs to be able to handle this. Whether that's community moderation, deletion/voting down low quality content, editing, or suspension/banning a site needs to be able to handle lower quality content.

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