Contestant #3 has been banned from the SDMB

Contestant #3 has been banned from the Straight Dope Message Board owing to chronic violations of Rule #1, don’t be a jerk.

Fine work. Well done. Keep it up.

Der Fuhrer

That response segues nicely with my question, which is how, precisely, does banning work? I understand the part about disabling the username, but the sign-up process is pretty easy, and free-mail addresses are equally easy to obtain.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that a banned person coming back under a new username is pretty easy to detect, but with a low level of certainty. Does that person get to be a jerk for as long as the original jerk before getting booted, or is there a “he loses a point or two because in addition to being a jerk, he is almost certainly last week’s jerk” factor at work?

I’m not trying here to be a jerk myself, I’m just a curious sort.

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I agree with you, manhattan…and I’m offering up a pool right now…HOW LONG before C#3 shows up with a new screenname? I say 2 days, myself…

I bet he shows up yet today…

Martyr #

You’re right, it’s pretty easy to get a new E-mail address and sign up under a new name. For example, Adolf Hitler (see above) just signed up today! Not having banned anybody before, we don’t really know how we’re going to make sure they stay banned. All I know is, after you’ve been taking some guy’s crap for six months, it sure feels good to click on that button that says, EXPUNGE FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

Let me try to explain something here. It might not be the answer you want, but it’s the answer I got.

The staff of the Straight Dope Message Board believes very strongly that our Teeming Millions deserve the best message board experience we can possibly give them. That means that people should be able to read a board free from spam, multi-level marketing, ponzi schemes, and other trash. They should be able to read and post free from harassment, intimidation, threats, ugliness. It’s supposed to be a fun time, an educational experience, a meeting of friends, a gathering of minds, a collection of jokes. If you sign off the board feeling that you had some fun, learned a little something, stretched your mind or opened your heart or engaged your debating skills, then we’ve done a good job.

When we ask people to work within our rules – which are not many and are not difficult – and people freely choose to disregard us, well, we don’t have much choice left.

Several people have been banned from this board – in every instance because they chose to make the message board experience unpleasant for others. This is inexcusable.

Either we can be for the few that ruin the experience for the rest – or we can work for the Teeming Millions. I think we made the right choice here. I hope you think so too.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

I personally had nothing against C#3. But I do have to commend the Admins and Mods for their action here. You have made the right choice. Bravo.

“What contemptible scoundrel has stolen the cork to my lunch?” – W.C. Fields

I don’t disagree at all, TUBA. I was just curious about the mechanics. Ed’s answer makes sense to me, and I hope things work out in this area. I personally have had no beef with C#3, but lord it’s easy to see that he had a beef with you guys, and equally easy to see why you had to take the action you did.

FTR, put me down in the pool as “he’s already been back, as Adolph.” That’s the suspicion that fueled my question, as Ed correctly guesses.

But one thing continues to confuse me. You said

You mean at some point I’m supposed to sign off? Well, I guess that may explain the sleep deprivation I’ve had since August 3. :wink:

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

I see you believe too much of a good thing is never enough!

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

Someone who signs in as Adolph Hitler has already broken rule #1. Delete it.

For the record, I’m here and not in a.f.c-a precisely because this is moderated. Keep up the weeding, folks.


I personally have no particular opinion one way or the other with regard to your decision to ban Contestant #3. As administrators of the board, it was certainly your decision to make, and I’m sure you acted in what you felt were the bests interests of all concerned.

However, I DO have one small concern, which I hope you might be kind enough to address in this forum. You see, I had no idea there were a list of rules governing ones conduct here (of which, Contestant #3 apparently broke the first?). I was unable to locate any reference to the rules in the FAQ, nor have I been able to locate any other link that might indicate the potential for containing such a list. I have a vague recollection of having seen a “Don’t be a jerk” message when registering, but don’t remember any other specific restrictions (aside from the usual legal disclaimers, of course).

How can I avoid inadvertently following in Contestant #3’s footsteps, and running afoul of the guidelines established by the board’s administration? Is there a published list of acceptable and unacceptable behavior? Or did Contestant #3 merely step across some undefined line with such ridiculous abandon as to be blatantly and unmistakably out of line with the best interests of the SDMB?

In short, was it a violation of a specific regulation (as in “Posting of pornographic materials is prohibited”) which I can hope to avoid by becoming familiar with the rules, or was it just obvious over-the-top foolishness (as in, “No, I can’t tell you exactly where you missed the Miami turnpike, but it really doesn’t matter - you’re in CANADA, for pete’s sake!”)


Life is a tapestry.
Each new day brings with it the opportunity to sew by
word and deed within the heart of someone around us.
Let us choose our colors with care.

I suspect somebody may have gotten the idea for this from something I posted over in the Pit, in response to Satan. And while I don’t necessarily disagree, I would say that if the name “Adolf Hitler” is to be banned, then the name “Satan” ought to be banned, too. And given the “rules” regarding not posting sexually explicit material, etc., one wonders why Satan’s thread about what his girlfriend wants to do to him hasn’t met the same fate as Contestant #3.


Jonathon asked:

That was it. :slight_smile: You can look at it again by clicking on “register” (you can find it right below the “New Topic” blue button in the upper right of your screen).

Well, for one thing, if a moderator or administrator tells you that you did something wrong, stop doing it. :slight_smile: Seriously, it’s not like we throw people off for breaking a rule once. So if you ever have a question, please feel free to ask one of us.

The rules are hazy for a couple of reasons. First, because we didn’t want to saddle this site or the people that come here with a laundry list of dos and don’ts. The assumption is that y’all are adults, know the differences between right and wrong, know how to function in a civilized society; this is not Romper Room.

Moderators are not here to be playroom supervisors. This means we expect a certain amount of maturity and common sense from our posters. Mostly we get it.

Treat other people as you would wish to be treated, and that will take you far. The flip side of this is Cecil’s Number One Rule: Don’t Be a Jerk. Most everybody knows what jerky behavior is and what it’s not.

To get even more specific, if we ask you NOT to post something and you continue to post it, you can bet we’ll have something to say about it.

Ditto to posting links to sites that we find objectionable – in this case, sites that violate our rules against blatant commercial solicitation and adult content.

Nothing that we ask you to do is difficult – in fact, it’s much less restrictive than on, say, AOL.

Nobody gets tossed out for first or basic mistakes; we understand that it’s a learning process and that most people, once advised of how things are, are happy to go forward and sin no more. (That works good with us, too. :))

And please understand that this is still a fairly new site and a lot of our procedure is being defined on the job, so to speak. We’re all learning and growing together.

If you have a question about something you’d like to post here and would like clarification, you can always ask us; all moderators accept email. Some of us also accept Instant Messages. We’re always happy to answer your questions.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

Martyr #7, huh? It follows a similar format to Contestant #3. Does C#3 feel that he’s a martyr? Did Martyr #7 register today? Yup.

Good one krish.

Just how are we to ensure our lives are free of this detestible Contestant #3 anyhow?

Heck, he could come up with a new screen name and email. He could have 8 or 9 of them lined up for all we know.

You could block his IP address if you have the knowhow, but even then his IP address might not be static, or he could use a different ISP.

Hmmmmm. Strains the noodle doesn’t it?

Martyr #

Its too bad Contestant #3 had to do that stuff to get banned. I think he was treated unfairly before that, though. No reason to delete that whole post.
I will miss Contestant 3
I miss Papabear.
I miss quadell.


Nein. I am not Contestant #3. Never would I tolerate such a dissident in my realm. Thus I commend the job that was done here.

Der Fuhrer

I would question the wisdom of banning screen names.

With unlimited e-mail accounts, individuals are never effectively banned from posting, and discriminating readers are no longer alerted to the garbage ahead by noting the screen name.

On the old AOL board, we had a tradition called “Coventry” in which most of us attempted to refrain from responding to trolls, and thus denying them the attention they craved. In theory, anyway…

It’s might be worth a try. It’s better than endlessly speculating over which new name(s) a “banned” person is now posting.

Sue from El Paso