Today A4KASH asked "Passive form of “John is painting his room" on English Language & Usage, but there user Matt Эллен suggested him to ask on English Language Learners: "This question is only really going to help you once and now. Please can you turn it into a more general question? As a side note, you might like our sister site: English Language Learners," Matt Эллен said.

It seems that after the Matt Эллен's suggestion A4KASH asked on our main site, but snail tell him:

According to Jeff Atwood, cross-posting "can be OK, so long as the question is tailored to each audience on the different sites and is materially different in each case. Just to be 100% clear, copy-pasting a question across sites with no changes is considered abusive [behavior]." At a minimum, you should link to the other question. Otherwise, I might (and did) waste my time by doing the same work someone else has already done.

Since A4KASH is a new member, unaware of the rules, I do not believe that there was by this user the voluntariness of being abusive.

That said, I ask: Shouldn't we be nicer in welcoming new members? Can these comments dismiss new members from our community? Or, does my impression is wrong and subjective?

  • 5
    Ouch. Okay, I've replaced my comment with something slightly nicer.
    – user230
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 17:15
  • Is this concern (cross-posting) mentioned in the faq? I didn't see it there. Maybe refer to meta.stackexchange.com/questions/64068/…
    – user485
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


My answer : yes, you need to welcome new members !

I will answer you how I feel as a new member and how this could be addressed.

First of all, I read this site. I discover it. There is some interesting question and interesting answers. I want to participate in, get involved in.

Then... wow, most of functionalities i try to use, send me to this : NEED MORE REPUTATION POINTS. Big disappointment wall of unnecessary/unproductive user clicks. Again and again. Till I discover I need to get those reputation points by one of only feature I am allowed to use : Write answer.

I registered in many stackexchange communities and did that.

The pitfall is there : new users not used to stackexchange are punished as hard as abusers and misbehaving people. Giving the feeling well, wtf am i still there, using this site. It makes me feel this system makes reputation farming addicts, giving them authoritarian power over clueless new users, pushing their own standards of what a good answer is and how it should be presented, deleting/replacing your own comments.

You failed to do that before they even tell you ? bye bye new user ! I feel the experience of getting and losing first reputation points quite violent. The time I spend on this site for the first time isn't rewarded/rewardfull.

What I suggest :

The learning process should be included in a welcome section where new users have to present themselves. Learning how the system and functionalities work should then grant them some basic reputation points.

In any good quality management system, there is always a strong "welcome pack". Here : give your email, and be at mercy of camping farmer, in a system promoting most addicted and/or predatory people.

If there is no safe section dedicated enough to newcomers, stackexchange will struggle at renewing its community, stagnant with long term reputed people, systemically dismissing new comers.

Anyway, I don't' know if you like my answer.

But don't tell me I should make a comment instead, because I can't.

  • Reputation should only be awarded to users who contribute materially to the site, through asking good questions, or writing good answers. You don't get points for knowing how to use the site correctly - that's an expectation. For instance, comments are limited to users with just 50 reputation on this site because it helps to limit the amount of noise around a post. You can very easily gain reputation by asking questions or answering, and this helps to attract those with good questions, and those with good answers.
    – jimsug
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 6:16
  • If you're an English learner with good questions, then you can gain reputation as easily as an English speaker with good answers. But privileges are earned through reputation precisely because it requires you to contribute productively to the site. Why should we reward people for just knowing what's expected, as you suggest, instead of for actually doing what's expected? You don't get paid for knowing how to work, you get paid for actually working (generally).
    – jimsug
    Commented Jul 13, 2014 at 6:19

Maybe topics between the ELU and ELL shouldn’t be viewed as cross-posts. New users wouldn’t exactly know where (which forum) to ask his/her questions. If you encounter cross-posting between ELL and ELU, then don’t immediately assume that the user is malicious. It could just be an honest mistake.

Also, there’s no need to be mean to new users who are not familiar with how this site work/operate.

  • 5
    It's true that there's no need to be mean. However, you don't need to be familiar with a site's rules to be considerate of others.
    – user230
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 18:21
  • +1 agree. I still think we should be more accommodating, i.e., having two similar sounding posts in ELL and ELU for a new user, as long as one of the topics gets closed eventually. In fact, looking at this situation, the user was specifically asked to go and asked his question here (ELL). He was not being inconsiderate. However, if you see someone spamming, then ban away I guess. Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 18:38
  • 1
    For the record, I never said I assumed anyone was malicious. In fact, I assume they were not. They were merely inconsiderate--they did not think through what they were doing, causing someone (me) to waste time repeating work that had already been done. This was not particularly nice of them.
    – user230
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 18:53
  • 1
    Posting on ELU, and then on ELL is still cross-posting. In this case, it was done because it was suggested ELL as a better site for the question; it was not because the OP voluntarily posted on two different sites. Maybe it was better to suggest ELL after the ELU question got closed, or suggest to use ELL for another question like the one already asked (which means as basic as the one already asked, if the one already asked was not a good question for ELU).
    – apaderno
    Commented Mar 29, 2013 at 20:03

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