Why was Cheshire Human warned for this?

I was looking at Marley23’s announcement on Cheshire Human’s ban, and I don’t understand his last warning:

I mean he wasn’t directly insulting anyone and he was calling the joke retarded.

Bolding mine.

Yeah, but he wasn’t calling any specific poster a “fool”. I thought that was within the rules here, that as long as you aren’t specifically calling someone out and insulting them, that is okay.

Since it’s the mods/admins that do the April Fooling, that seems pretty specific.

I think it was more of a “don’t threadshit” violation than a “don’t insult other posters” violation.

Okay, and wow, the moderating as gotten stricter it seems since when I stopped posting a few months ago.

I have been seeing quite a few cases lately that weren’t so severe/clearly rule-breaking receiving warnings.

I mean I thought (and still do) that post should, if anything, have only gotten a moderator note.

It depends on your record. According to Marley, Cheshire Human has had six warnings and a suspension in a little over a year. Mods don’t keep track of mod notes, but they do take warnings into account when ruling on a post. If you don’t have any warnings or maybe one a couple of years ago, you’re more likely to get a mod note. Six warnings and a suspension is unlikely to get you any slack.

Looks like it would fall under “being a jerk” and/or “thread shitting” to me.

You don’t tend to get moderator notes when you’ve been suspended for the same sort of thing in the past. When you come back from a suspension, you’re pretty much on probation for a while.

The rules have always been that you can’t insult posters, by calling them things like “fools.” Just because the insult is directed at a group of posters (the mods) doesn’t mean it’s not a violation. In the same way, you can’t insult “everyone in this thread who disagrees with me” or “all posters who voted for X” or “all posters who like this TV show.” Insulting a specific group of posters is no different from insulting individual posters.

If the group were large enough to include non-posters (e.g., “everyone who voted for X” or “anyone who likes this TV show”), that would be a different story. But this is clearly directed at the mods.

And, insulting the mods is a no-no anyhow.

And this was the Nth such violation in recent times. We’re more tolerant of first and second and even third violations.

In other words … if you’re walking on eggs, don’t hop.

I’d have been inclined to give a pass to “you fools” in the context of April Fool’s Day.

I would have thought that would be obvious even to a fool.

There was some debate amongst the mods whether this was the last camel that overflowed the cup (we generally have such discussions before banning), or whether we should wait for another, but when we looked at the nature and frequency of repeated offenses, we decide enough was enough.

Teaming “retarded” with “fools” didn’t help much. Yes, “retarded” was aimed at the prank, not the posters, but it’s a disgusting (and probably deliberately provocative) word.

In the context of the post, it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t intended to be jocular.

Actually in most cases suspension is the next to the last stop on the ban bus.

It’s our last-ditch effort to get someone’s attention with the hope that with a little time off the poster will look at their pattern of behavior and make positive changes.

If there’s another warning after a suspension, banning is the only option left. This is explained to the poster when they’re suspended.

Most people really interested in being a member of the Straight Dope community – the overwhelming majority of people – never get a warning at all, let alone multiple warnings, a flurry of warnings in a relatively short time, or warnings repeatedly for the same manner of offense.