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Old 05-20-2020, 01:30 PM
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Bannings reversed?


This thread discussing the reversal of warnings, and the recent thread regarding Shodanís banning, got me thinking: has a banned poster ever had their posting privileges reinstated? Un-banned, as it were?

Iím not talking about accidental bannings like What Marley Did or the banning of a new poster as a spammer when in fact they were not (I donít know if this has ever happened, itís just a scenario that might be possible). Iím talking about a poster with history of posting in multiple forums and engaging with other posters who was then banned for repeated or flagrant rules violations. I recall a mod saying once that, unless the poster is obviously a spammer or a sock, the mods all engage in a discussion and vote on the sanction before the poster is actually banned.

Which makes me think that the ATMB threads that ask for a poster to be un-banned are completely pointless. The mods have likely addressed whatever points that posters would bring to the discussion before the official announcement is ever made, and thus arguing for someoneís un-banning would have no effect.

But maybe Iím wrong. Has anyone ó especially someone with a long or long-ish posting history ó ever been resurrected?
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:05 PM
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Yes. But with a definite "you got two and a half strikes already, don't give us the slightest reason to kick your ass to the curb" mentality, and they've nearly always managed to get rebanned.

Plural in quantity.

Baldwin and the PC apeman

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=15841
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=56380

Lissener
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=4253

I think there were a few others.

Last edited by AHunter3; 05-20-2020 at 02:06 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
has a banned poster ever had their posting privileges reinstated?
It is very rare, but it has happened. Generally you have to work pretty hard to get yourself banned around here. In order for a ban to be lifted, you would need to convince us that you truly have changed your ways, which requires a lot of convincing when numerous warnings and suspensions didn't change anything.

As you have noted, we have a discussion in the mod loop and all vote before anyone gets banned, with the exception of socks, spammers, and anyone threatening legal action. So if someone gets banned, it isn't the result of just one moderator. It's a consensus from all of us.

AHunter3 listed a couple of examples. I can think of a couple more that were cases where a long time had passed and the user had presented a convincing case that they had changed their ways and would not revert to the behavior that had resulted in their banning in the first place. Occasionally someone has had issues with substance abuse of some sort that has resulted in bad behavior, and once they have cleaned up their act they have been allowed to come back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
or the banning of a new poster as a spammer when in fact they were not (I donít know if this has ever happened, itís just a scenario that might be possible)
This has happened. Occasionally a new poster shows up and posts a link and makes themselves really look a lot like a spammer.
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Old 05-20-2020, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
Which makes me think that the ATMB threads that ask for a poster to be un-banned are completely pointless. The mods have likely addressed whatever points that posters would bring to the discussion before the official announcement is ever made, and thus arguing for someoneís un-banning would have no effect.
There's been a change in policy over the years. Before the Board went pay-to-post, the banning process was not codified. We didn't use the graded options of suspensions before bannings. A few people who were banned petitioned for re-admission, and it was granted. However, the track record was bad, and they mostly ended up doing the same things that had gotten them banned before, and were re-banned.

When we went to pay-to-post in 2004, the process for banning paying members became more rigorous. Trial members who joined for the 30-day free period could be instabanned for any offense.

Once we went back to free posting, a more formal process for warnings and bannings was maintained. Now it usually takes a number of warnings in a limited period of time to get a suspension. Then it takes one or more warnings after a suspension for a poster to be banned. (There may be exceptions for offenses like trolling or hate speech.)

This means anyone who has been banned has had multiple chances to change their behavior, and has failed to do so. We see little point in re-admitting someone with this kind of history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Yes. But with a definite "you got two and a half strikes already, don't give us the slightest reason to kick your ass to the curb" mentality, and they've nearly always managed to get rebanned.

Plural in quantity.

Baldwin and the PC apeman

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=15841
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=56380

Lissener
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=4253

I think there were a few others.
Those were back in 2008 (or longer) ago. Baldwin was banned again, and the PC Apeman stopped posting, shortly thereafter.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I figured it was essentially non-existent, and it sounds like today it basically is, but I guess its good to know that if all those warnings I've accumulated over the years finally leads to my dismissal, I have a theoretical shot at redemption.
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Old 05-20-2020, 09:59 PM
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In the mod loop discussions on banning, is it a simple majority, or unanimous vote? If it's simple majority, how do you decide a tie vote? Go up the ladder to an admin?

I understand if you don't want to reveal "behind the scenes" stuff, but I'm curious.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
In the mod loop discussions on banning, is it a simple majority, or unanimous vote? If it's simple majority, how do you decide a tie vote? Go up the ladder to an admin?

I understand if you don't want to reveal "behind the scenes" stuff, but I'm curious.
Mod loop discussions are private, but I will tell you that it has to be pretty much unanimous. There can't be any major objections.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
Mod loop discussions are private, but I will tell you that it has to be pretty much unanimous. There can't be any major objections.
Right. No one is banned or suspended on a 5-4 split decision. If there are significant objections by anyone, then no action is taken.

And moderators will generally not propose a banning or suspension to the mod loop unless they have good reason to think that the motion will carry. Most the time by the time banning is put on the table a poster has established a pattern of behavior clearly enough that little discussion is needed.
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Those were back in 2008 (or longer) ago. Baldwin was banned again, and the PC Apeman stopped posting, shortly thereafter.
This points out another aspect that affects the Mods' decisions: it is in no way 100%, but the overwhelming number of re-instated posters found ways to get banned all over again--usually for the same sort of infractions. Having been banned does not close discussion or preclude reconsideration, but the high recidivism rate does factor into the discussion, along with the bannee's attitude toward having been banned.
  #10  
Old 05-21-2020, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Yes. But with a definite "you got two and a half strikes already, don't give us the slightest reason to kick your ass to the curb" mentality, and they've nearly always managed to get rebanned.

Plural in quantity.

Baldwin and the PC apeman

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=15841
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=56380

Lissener
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/member.php?u=4253

I think there were a few others.
Notably, Colonel Lounsbury (not his real handle, but close), who provided the board with a LOT of what I thought of as valuable knowledge about matters relating to MENA stuff during both the preamble to and the immediate aftermath of Bush the Lesses's 2002 adventurism.

The problem was that it seems he ALSO thought of his knowledge as being really valuable. Apparently valuable enough to exempt him from the board's rules regarding respectful interaction in GD and other non-Pit forums. His second chance didn't last that long, IIRC.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Notably, Colonel Lounsbury (not his real handle, but close), who provided the board with a LOT of what I thought of as valuable knowledge about matters relating to MENA stuff during both the preamble to and the immediate aftermath of Bush the Lesses's 2002 adventurism.

The problem was that it seems he ALSO thought of his knowledge as being really valuable. Apparently valuable enough to exempt him from the board's rules regarding respectful interaction in GD and other non-Pit forums. His second chance didn't last that long, IIRC.
The poster in question (whose posts still exist, but are not directly findable on search) was banned in November 2002. In March 2003 he wrote a very long, heartfelt mea culpa to the Administration promising not to behave in the same way again, and was allowed back in. He was banned again for exactly the same behavior in July 2003.

Unfortunately in my experience that was the general result when a poster who was banned was allowed back in. If that was today, he would have been allowed a suspension before being banned permanently, but the result would have been the same.
  #12  
Old 05-22-2020, 08:53 AM
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I remember during a really chaotic period when there were all sorts of technical glitches, a poster made a snarky comment (but not hugely so, IMHO) and Ed instabanned him on the spot, but he later walked it back in the same thread as a suspension. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:10 AM
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Otto, but they then decided to ban him anyway, apparently after a series of frothy PM's to the mods via a sock account.
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Old 05-22-2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
And moderators will generally not propose a banning or suspension to the mod loop unless they have good reason to think that the motion will carry.
Yeah, my motion that being White Sox or Cardinals fans should lead to a unanimous ban vote keeps getting shot down, cuss the luck.

As I said in another thread, even when there's a vote to ban I generally - for ones I am bird-dogging - tend to send a final 'Does anyone have any strong objections to a ban? If not, I'll do it at <whatever time>." My thinking is that this gives any last minute doubts a chance to pop up and be heard.

Really, for all that bannings are noisy it is really difficult to cross that threshold. A poster needs to work at it, over both the short- and long-term to achieve that status of 'Banned'.
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by John DiFool View Post
Otto, but they then decided to ban him anyway, apparently after a series of frothy PM's to the mods via a sock account.
Thanks, 12 years ago, how time flies.
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Old 05-22-2020, 11:58 AM
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Yeah, my motion that being White Sox or Cardinals fans should lead to a unanimous ban vote keeps getting shot down, cuss the luck.
Also, the proposal that we all get a courtesy banning of our choice on our birthday also hasn't been implemented.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:44 AM
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If memory serves (a big 'if' these days, you know how that goes), yer pal Satan was briefly reinstated after some time had passed from his original ban. Again IIRC, he was yet one more poster who couldn't stop doing the same things that got him into trouble to begin with, and he got banned for good.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:17 AM
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Satan was during my first stint in the barrel, and I don't remember him coming back, but then, that was long enough ago for memories to degrade.

There have been times when one or two mods have said "Well, maybe, but I don't know...", or where one or two mods didn't weigh in at all, and the person has gotten banned. But I have never seen a case where even one mod said "No, I don't think they should be banned", where the person then got banned. So the standard isn't quite unanimity, but it's close.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:29 AM
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And on related note, the moderator who posts the banning announcement isn’t even necessarily the moderator who raised the question of banning. Sometimes it’s just who is available to post the announcement.
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