I noticed that a poster was banned recently, but the banned thread below just explains what banning is, not how one inherits such a status. For someone who gets a little hot under the coolar quickly, I don’t want to be on that list…


The registration agreement covers what can get one banned. Number one is “Don’t be a jerk.” Excessive abuse of other posters, trolling, spamming, threats, harassment, and deliberately breaking board rules all generally qualify as being a jerk. Ditto for having two screen names.

Thanks andros! You’ve said it so well I don’t have too much more to add except to say that usually people have to really work at it to get thrown out (though some manage it right out of the box, I guess it’s a gift). :slight_smile:

Think of it as being a guest in our house. Don’t pee on the shrubbery or kick the dog, use the coasters and the ashtrays and we’re gonna be fine.

your humble TubaDiva

Well, I should be free and clear. :slight_smile:

Is there a way to find out how someone got banned? Like a thread with “X was banned for doing Y while eating Z” type thing?

Just sometimes I’ve been curious as to why someone suddenly seems to be banned with no explanation, and no obviously inflamatory posts…

I second dylan_73’s request. I once saw a poster get banned after only three innocuous posts, and I never learned why.

A perpetual thread on this board, with posts from moderators explaining why someone had to go hasta la bye-bye, would be great…both to satisfy my curiosity and to help me avoid such transgressions myself.

Ah, Dylan and Five, come and sit down, my children, and Granny will explain to you how little children everywhere may have their ignorance enlightened on the subject of a particular poster’s being banned.

Send an e-mail to a moderator, my children. Start thou not a thread addressing this issue, but rather resort to the electronic highway and discuss the matter in private with one of the Message Board’s gods or goddesses. Thus shall the incursions of trolls into our fair land be at a minimum, and thou shalt live long and prosper.

A perpetual thread discussing banning, my children, would soon prove to be nothing but a rotten carcass attracting maggots, and hence not to be desired. Trust me.

The “innocuous posts” you’re referring to were probably made by someone using a second screen name, a.k.a. a “sock puppet”, which is a no-no. Remember, my children, we exist in this beautiful land of the Message Boards at the sufferance of its gods and goddesses, who are not required by any federal laws to explain their actions to us mere mortals. However, fortunately for us, they are basically kind-hearted and they want us to be happy, so they are all wondrously receptive to e-mail.

Now hand Granny the remote and go outside and play, it’s time for Judge Judy…

See, the thing is that most of the idiots that we ban after three posts (witness the Idiot du Jour, Grayson3 [not Greyson3]) seem to thrive by seeing their name pop up in forum lists, thread titles, threads about banned idiots…
The point is, that any attention will do for them. It’s not that we want to be overtly secretive about who we ban, and for what reason. It’s more that we don’t want to give the banned dolts the gratification of even MORE attention.

A permanent thread about who got banned and for what reason would, IMHO, soon degenerate into SockPuppet Central.

If you want to know what gets you banned: we have a FAQ (it’s being updated as we speak, BTW) that explains it all. Most posters who have been here for more than three weeks know what the most important rules are: they’re not that complex, anyway. And should you ever be in doubt: mail a moderator.

There are two types of banning that occur on a near daily basis:

  1. A poster with a low count of idiotic posts is banned. This means that this was a known persona non grata.
  2. A poster who seems coherent, yet somewhat longwinding, is banned. This means that this poster was Serlin.

That’s about it. Oh, and there is an option 3 of course. Newly arrived idiots. But these bannings are either one-offs, or they proceed to option 1.

I understand your reasoning for not wanting a permanent thread about banned posters. But…

You all know perfectly well that I am no troll-hunter, but, I do get curious, very curious, when I suddenly see “BANNED” under someone’s name. In fact, I just saw a poster whom I had considered innocuous labeled “BANNED,” and I was immediately dying to know why. I’m not gonna bother a moderator to ask why, but I know that if the subject ever comes up, I’ll be listening/reading. It’s a situation ripe for the spread of misinformation and gossip.

Right or wrong, we have a natural curiosity about the scofflaws in our midst. Telling us to keep it private won’t change that. The banned posters will get discussed in one place or another.

I submit that creating some sort of mechanism by which you can offer short explanations for bannings will reduce the amount of (usually incorrect) speculation.

Do you think they sometimes come back just to see how fast they get banned?

That’s by no means an argument against banning - if the persona non grata discovers that they always get banned between 4 and 10 posts, for example, I can’t necessarily see them trying again and again to see if we eventually spot them in under 4 posts.

I really wouldn’t worry about it. We will throw up a flag and give you a warning if you do something bad. We don’t ban people rightout for first-time transgressions. It only appears that way with some screen names because we as mods and admins can tell through the magic administrative functions that these screen names are not new posters but in fact previously registered posters who have been warned then banned and are attempting to post under new names.

Honest mistakes won’t get you banned. Deliberate acts of annoyance and chaos will. We’re actually very forgiving. People who have been banned have gone far out of their way to piss us off by trying to make the board their own personal urinal.

“Excessive abuse of other posters, trolling, spamming, threats, harassment…”
So as long as you do it just to yourself, its okay?

Thanks for the responses, Duck Duck Goose, Coldfire and Alphagene. The “DNFTT” reasoning behind not discussing bannings seems reasonable.

I guess I was expecting some kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell” answer. Since that’s not what I got, and the Mods appear willing to discuss such matters privately, I’ll send email to the relevant mod in the future when I get curious about a banning.

I’m going to guess sock puppets are identified by the email address in their profile (if they’re dumb enough to use the same one as their other ID) or by their IP address, yes?

Whatever trips YOUR trigger.

To echo what’s been said before, if you see someone being banned and to your untrained eye it looks like it happened like a thunderbolt out of the blue, you can safely assume this was someone that either transgressed in such a horrible way that the posting(s) in question were swiftly removed and/OR the poster is a returning problem child.

In both cases posting privileges are removed as quickly as possible.

your humble TubaDiva

PS I’m sure y’all wonder just what “horrible” means. Mostly it’s stuff too stupid to live, links to unpleasant/illegal sites or temper tantrums against management. If I had to come with a word to best describe it all, it would be “banal.”

There’s several ways to ban people. Since Grayson3 doesn’t have the BANNED label, he may just be blocked from posting. Same effect, but less obvious.

I always wonder what the rationale is for different ways of handling things. But seldom enough to ask. (It’s always risky to ask questions, because it seems you are challenging the mods authority. I never challenge the authority; Mods- it’s your call, but the fans do get curious. Is it so wrong to ask?)

I noticed references here to a user being completely removed.
GaspodE vs. GaspodA is this the same person?
TubaDiva explains it here as a board feature that lets them “delete all postings by a particular screen name in a single operation”
Weirdness in comments on Cecil’s columns

So, I guess I’m wondering, since Grayson3 is the same as Gaspoda ( e->a is a pretty distinctive M.O.)
Then why didn’t you guys just erase Grayson3’s as well, instead of leaving them all there, and with him looking like he’s not even banned?

If the key here in both cases is attention, why not treat them the same :confused:

It’s a matter of degrees, really- the more often someone breaks the rules, the more severe the reaction becomes. Thus, when Grayson3 came around, the punishment was standard- banning. When Gaspoda came around, obviously the same person and pulling the same… um, ‘stuff’ (sorry- feels a bit unusal to be out of the Pit), the punishment was upped: BAN, block, and delete.

As for not immediately going back and deleting Grayson’s posts- well, it’s a combination of difficulty and unwillingness. Difficulty: it takes an Administrator to make such a delete. Unwillingness: we like to keep records of how people break the rules here; it makes it that much easier to provide evidence to their ISPs and get them in serious hot water.

Just to expand a bit on my fellow moderator Alphagene:

To be perfectly honest, it’s possible that an innocent person will get banned accidentally: Despite the cybornetic enhancements, we mods are still just humans. The important thing is what to do in such a case: If it happens, e-mail one or more of us (preferably an administrator), and ask to have it fixed. If it was a mistake, we’ll realize this, and fix it, no harm done. This is not a valid excuse for creating a myriad sockpuppets to come back and flame the administration of the board for being evil and inconsiderate.

I like the part where instead of putting “BANNED” underneath the poster’s name you put some other remarks about the poster. (Now that I mentioned it, please don’t do that to me, pretty please, with woman on top?)

I really don’t think you have anything to worry about. :slight_smile:

Well, not today, anyway.

your humble TubaDiva
Of course, the day is young . . .

I would only add that in my experience, if you’re curious about why someone has been banned, do a simple search for posts by them and read a few – in every case where I’ve been curious, it’s been blindingly obvious why that person was banned once I read a couple of their posts. In some cases (like, um, well, today), my only question is why that person wasn’t banned earlier. But I chalk that up to the inscrutible ways of the omnipotent mods. :slight_smile: