Help a noobie: how to not get banned

After years of reading this board, a few days ago I finally decided I wanted to join in a discussion. Didn’t end up going so well. After my first post, my account was deleted, my email banned, and even the IP I was at, also banned, so I couldn’t even make a new account from that physical address.

I could see absolutely nothing in the content of my post that would have warranted any of this. But it was quite a long chunk of text that I pasted in, and because I didn’t realize at first the post was just hidden temporarily pending moderation, I tried to post the same thing again.

Appologies ahead of time if I should have familiarised myself more closely with the board rules first and found out the answer that way, but I thought I’d take another stab at getting started this way. I did email the webmaster about this a few days ago, haven’t received an answer yet.

So, after that lengthy preamble: I suspect the reason of the ban might be pasting a long text and/or trying to post twice in a rapid succession. If not that, I’d be interested to know what else could be the explanation, so I can avoid the same happening again.

Thanks for help!

Beyond being long, did your original post contain any links (particularly to any sites for products or services)? One of the primary reasons for new posters getting immediately banned is for spam, and if your post looked like spam, that’d do it.

You mention “that I pasted in” – were you reposting something from another site (Facebook or elsewhere)? Was what you were reposting your own work/writing, or were you copying something which was written by someone else?


I don’t know who the “webmaster” for the SDMB is, but if you have a question about being moderated (which is what you’re describing), you send a private note here to one or more of the moderators – they are usually much more responsive. If you send it to the moderators for the particular sub-forum where your first post had been made, it’ll likely go to the person who decided to remove your original post and delete your original account.

Nope, none of those. I just wrote the text in an app as a precaution – I have a healthy distrust of everything online and/or browser related… Didn’t want to risk my text disappearing if something went wrong. Seems like on one hand it was wise, but may also have been the cause of the trouble!

Oh sorry – only course of action I had at the time was to email the webmaster address listed in the ‘about’ section, since I had no more account and couldn’t make one. I didn’t see any other emails listed.

Honestly, I have a hard time seeing how that, alone, would have led to your first post getting removed (and your account being banned). It’s far more likely that it was about the content of the post.

Also, and I am by no means making accusations here, but we have a history of a handful of long-time board members who managed to get themselves permanently banned here (usually for repeated violation of board rules), who try to come back later under a different account name – we call those “socks” (for “sock puppet”), and those accounts also get banned when the moderators realize what’s going on. Certain former members have certain writing styles, and it’s not uncommon for new posts from new members to look like the typical posts from the banished, which can also lead to a banning.

Well, all I can say that from my experience of following the board for a long time, I can’t see any possible way there was anything in the post content that would be a reason for immediate account deletion and IP banning. Certainly I was trying to be as polite as possible and the topic of discussion wasn’t a controversial one – well, only in the field of philosophy.

I had received a notification in my email saying the post was temporarily hidden and waiting for a staff member to review it, but I only noticed this after it was too late. Oh and I did manage to make a post that said “just testing”, which wasn’t deleted, but after that I tried pasting in the long text again, and that’s when I was logged out and the account was deleted. So this all made me think that the automation probably caught this massive chunk of identical text being posted twice in quick succession and determined it was the doings of a bot or similar.

Thanks for the info about sock accounts. I hope my style wasn’t/isn’t so similar to a banned account that it would be a problem…

I did choose to take the same account name, as it was available again. Wonder if that’s gonna cause trouble…

I don’t think this is a thing we do around here.

I believe that if you are a TL0 (a brand new user) the default on Discourse is to require that your posts be moderated until you reach TL1.

ETA: If you were IP banned, it is likely that you tripped a spam filter or that you share an IP with someone who has previously been banned.

You literally admitted that this is a sock puppet account in your OP and again here.

That’s often not treated as an instaban offense when someone is posting to understand why they got banned.

Paging @engineer_comp_geek just in case he’s not monitoring this this thread. Seems like getting that webadmin link fixed or adding additional moderator emails to the help area is something that’s still needed.

Was your post of a commercial nature? Were you trying to direct people towards using coupon codes for vaping supplies, for example? There was a post like that a couple of days ago that was, I think, insta-banned as spam or something. It wasn’t a very long post, so it doesn’t meet your description. Just an example of something you’re not allowed to do here.

The system flags certain things as likely spam, including “new poster posted too quickly”. But I thought that was too quickly after creating the ID, not just posting if the ID had been around for a while.

I agree that @engineer_comp_geek is the person you want to discuss this with.

My understanding is that they lurked for a long while. Decided that they had something to add to a discussion that interested them. Typed up a response. Made an account. Posted the response.

That would have tripped the flag. And it would explain why the post needed to be moderated, since they hadn’t spent the fifteen minutes reading the board required for TL1.

Once they tried a second time to make the same post–boom–system saw it as spam and auto-banned them.

From other forums, I’ve seen comments about Discourse spam filters that hide a post if it’s created too soon after an account is create, or if a post is submitted too soon after clicking the reply or new post button (i.e., if you paste in pre-written text and submit immediately). I think GreysonCarlisle has the right sequence of events.

I don’t expect ECG will confirm the details of how the spam filters work, since we obviously don’t want to tell spammers how to circumvent them. But he should be able to help you get an account in good standing, OP.

Yeah, I can see why the spam filter had it in for you.

I can sort this out for you. Send me a PM with your original user name, your original e-mail, and, if you know it, what your IP was.

I was referring to the comment that the OP admitted to socking in this thread, as if that was something to get him insta-banned (as socking usually does). My comment was to say that using a sock for this purpose doesn’t usually get one banned.

Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

This is the message I got:
"Our automated spam filter, Akismet, has temporarily hidden your post in Lack of Freewill doesn’t mean lack of choice for review.

A staff member will review your post soon, and it should appear shortly.

We apologize for the inconvenience."

Yup, this was the sequence of events! Sorry if I wasn’t clear, tend to be a bit longwinded I guess…

Thank you everybody for comments and help! This certainly made me feel quite welcome after the rough start :slight_smile:

No, not instabanned but it is a clear rule violation. Obviously, the mods can exercise common sense here, but the fact that he created a second account to discuss a mod action is usually strictly verboten. Socks being a no-no is not limited to the extreme examples cited upthread, it’s not a situational thing.