I was able to figure out some useful details to a question that was asked about the .epub format...but when I wanted to share what I found (which was not in the answers), I can't because of the reputation system.

I guess I'll just get on with my life instead of spending time increasing my reputation points, but is that really the best way to prevent spam on a site?

  • 2
    You should be able to post answers without any reputation. There are posts around saying that you should post a complete answer instead of a partial answer. You will also be able to ask questions like these on [meta] once you have 5 reputation.
    – Daniel T
    Feb 18 at 23:23
  • If you are starting out, you will eventually find a question you can answer in the first five pages of askubuntu.com/questions?tab=Newest . Once you post 10 high-quality answers, you should have the 50 reputation to comment after a week
    – Daniel T
    Feb 18 at 23:26
  • 3
    You can ask your own question and then answer it. You don't need high reputations for that. Feb 18 at 23:31
  • 3
    A small example of competence, good intent, and conformance to minimal standards seems a very low barrier to entry. Unwillingness to provide that example (your peers did) seems to say more about you than about this community. You are welcome to contribute when you are ready.
    – user535733
    Feb 19 at 8:27
  • 2
    Did you perhaps try to post a comment instead of an answer? Yes, new users can't comment (although the rep needed for that is tiny and very easy to get), but they can still post answers and suggest edits. Please explain how, exactly, you were blocked.
    – terdon
    Feb 19 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


… is that really the best way to prevent spam on a site?

I'm afraid it is, yes.

I understand the frustration and it can feel pretty backwards when it's getting between you and doing something good, but as somebody who has seen systems without these checks in place, the level of spam we're talking about stopping is almost unimaginable.

You also need to understand that this site runs on the time and sweat of its community. This is a very finite resource and we need to spend it carefully.

  • Questions and answers from new users are manually reviewed by 3-5 people
  • These (and other reviews) generate flags that also get reviewed.
  • Flagged issues also go can go up to one of a handful of moderators
  • We ask users to edit and improve any post they can
  • As well as voting, to help distinguish better questions and answers.
  • And that's all before using their expertise to actually help people with their problems. Reviewers get to be reviewers by having reputation.

On a question and answer site, comments are merely an occasional-but-necessary evil, a lubricant to help questions and answers get better. But given we're already splitting our users time between answering questions and fixing bad ones, reviewing what would-be thousands of comments —many of them "thanks" and "+1", and even more flagrant spam— I think keeping some focus on the questions and answers isn't a bad thing.

You can see more about privileges here: https://askubuntu.com/help/privileges

You're really very welcome here, Chris, but there are differences between this and a forum. I believe those changes and quirks are what makes it effective.

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