Although it doesn’t happen very often on the bulletin board I run, yesterday one of the mods banned a disruptive user. They were repeatedly warned about inappropriate posts by the mods, yet continued to post them anyhow.
After the banning, an admin posted ths message to explain what happened. I know the SDMB staff isn’t keen on public explanations of bannings, but I thought the message was appropriate gicen the circumstances.
Exactly how does the SDMB warning and banning process work? What are some examples of warning messages? Are warnings and prospective bannings discussed among the mods and admins? Is a message telling a user that they’ve been banned sent to them?
There’s not a fixed process, because it depends on the circumstances. Frinstance, we get a number of one-time posters who are posting links to some snake-oil sales, and we just ban ‘em. No warning, no notice, no nothin’. We also get other infractions that are so grotesque that we don’t feel that the offender is entitled to any warning, we just don’t want such jerks around. So the answer to whether users get an email telling them they’ve been banned: it depends. And similarly the answer to whether there is pre-banning discussion amongst the mods: it depends.
For normal, reliable members who have (seemingly) inadvertently broken the rules (like, say, in a fit of temper), we usually send a private email warning. The wording on the email varies, depending on the infraction. However, it’s always quite clear that it’s a warning, there’s no ambiguity. There’s no fixed wording, this ain’t AOL where we have paying customers that we don’t want to offend.
We prefer to handle most things quietly and privately. Public announcements are potentially subject to laws of libel.