Let's implement The Box

Suggestion. Instead of banning people, let’s implement The Penalty Box. That would be a forum that people would be limited to posting in if the mods deem it necessary. And we could visit The Box to poke fun at them as desired.

Yeah, let’s give posters who will do anything to get noticed their own special forum-that’ll show 'em!.

No. If someone is that disruptive or crazy or whatever else, we don’t want them on the site at all. This has been proposed and rejected before, and there is just no chance of it being implemented on the SDMB. Giraffe’s Board has it and I’m sure people have fun with it over there. I’m not putting that down - it’s not wrong in some objective sense, but it’s not something we want here.

For me, it makes no difference. Years ago I stopped browsing by forum and started exclusively using the “New Posts” button at the top. I rarely have a clue what forum the post I’m reading is in and “The Box” system doesn’t really make a difference to me because anything anyone posts anywhere all shows up in the same spot for me anyways.

So you could put unruly people in there for a few hours or a day to blow off some steam, but people that browse like I do would still see everything anyways. But I personally don’t care either way.

Having said that, I don’t think it would go over well. In other places I’ve seen that implemented (hmmm, where was that?), it’s designed in part so the person can blow off steam, but it’s also there so other people can poke them with sticks while they’re blowing off steam. Here…we don’t really let people publically blow off steam (that’s what suspensions are for) and we certainly don’t allow much poking with sticks beyond what’s already allowed in the pit.

The Pit is for blowing off steam. It has some limits but that’s always been its primary purpose. We don’t need a forum to let trolls show off or to poke crazy people with sticks.


Okay, now I know. Thanks.

I agree with the mods that the OP’s suggestion is not a good match for the SDMB. However, I do think restricted forum posting is a very useful tool that could be used to improve rule enforcement. For one, it would allow mods to create consequences for behavior that is occasionally annoying without really being deserving of lifetime banishment. Getting too feisty in GD, posting too many trivial threads in GQ, threadshitting in CS: people might think a lot more carefully about stuff like that if they couldn’t post in those forums for a day/week/month. (Trolls and spammers you still just ban as always.)

I think it would be interesting to create a usergroup that only has posting access in ATMB and The Pit. Use the infraction system to create shortcuts to move people into that usergroup for short, fixed amounts of time (e.g. 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month). Give individual mods full discretion over the 1-24 hour options, get some consensus for the longer ones. There would then exist a middle ground between “no, really, please stop it, I’m serious this time!” and “begone FOREVER!”

The mods would be able to control their forums in a more nuanced way, and the board would lose less otherwise-excellent posters like Diogenes simply because he racked up too many ticky-tack fouls. I think it would be win-win.

I guess that is one way of looking at it.

I thought of that when he got banned. **

Miller **took a bite out of his mod mug.

We have actually tried something like that in the past, at least twice. I don’t remember the details, it was years ago, but one poster was prohibited from posting on a specific topic – he/she seemed to have a temper problem whenever that topic came up. Another poster was once prohibited from posting in Great Debates. Those come to mind, but I freely confess that my memory is foggy. My recollection is that no good came of either of those experiments, and the total banning came soon after. (One of the problems was that people would taunt in the forbidden form, so the poor soul couldn’t respond.)

One of our goals is to build some sort of community here, and the concept of allowing people to be partial members doesn’t feel right. Never has.

Do remember, please, that most posters* are only banned after we’ve tried a short-term suspension, to see if that will help them reconsider their behaviours.

    • [sub]excluding the obvious like spammers and the like.[/sub]

We must be careful not to Girafficate this board with such tomfoolery.


box, box, box!!

  1. The OP made a constructive suggestion, and bowed out constructively. Kudos.

  2. Maybe some posters are just bad matches for certain forums.

  3. Maybe the warning tracking system has made things worse. Maybe some posters get disgruntled when they rack up 1-2 warnings, and then lose restraint.

  4. Restraint is good. Restraint aids minimal civility which is prerequisite for fighting ignorance. Members should encourage restraint in themselves as well as others. To the proper forum-appropriate point. [Cue for obvious pit-related joke here.]

  5. Most people don’t like handing arbitrary authority to anybody, least of all the SDMB mods. They think that justice should always be administered uniformly. I’m one of the few who disagrees with that. I think that once you’ve been convicted, you should be punished with sanctions that are random but within certain broad guidelines. In other words, I like judicial discretion and arbitrary sanction: uncertainty is part of the punishment. Cross certain lines and you lose your right to perfectly fair/square treatment, IMO. But probably not your opinion: most disagree.

  6. …so if we “Give individual mods full discretion over the 1-24 hour options…” expect the nitpickers to freak. And if a gaggle of mods decide on a 3 week ban from CS for poster A, a 5 week ban from GD for poster B, and a 6 week ban from IMHO for poster C, plan for a 12 page extended dramathon in ATMB.

  7. Does vBulletin allow automated banning from individual forums?

  8. DtC might have been usefully banned from IMHO or MPSIMS for a spell. Or maybe these sorts of hand slaps just piss people off. See #3.

  9. I think cooler headed members could play a useful role in calming discussions that get out of hand. But to do that skillfully without junior modding admittedly requires some talent.

In the administrator control panel, I can select whether or not to allow access to certain forums for any given poster. That is, I could choose to allow access to only The Pit and ATMB for a given poster. As a general rule, we (the moderation staff) don’t mess with this setting. I think that we HAVE disallowed access to a particular forum, at the request of the poster, but I wouldn’t swear to it. I know it was discussed, but I don’t remember the outcome.