Recent bannings and deletions

Over the in the questions thread, there has been some concern over some recent bans which some feel are overzealous and some deletions of some comments from that and a couple of other threads. The reason for concerns are pretty varied, but maybe it’s worth talking about it here (in a non-question manner?).

Please feel free to vent here and maybe we can get some clarifications on these issues from the powers that be?

@milliefink, @slybevel, @OtherMichael, @daneel, @miasm? Was there anyone else discussing these interconnected issues?


I ate some of the flagged comments but issued no suspensions.


I think the bannings/suspensions have been recently, not today. That’s not my particular concern, but others seem concerned about it. I’d like if you can listen to their concerns and help us sort through all this?


I’ve been banned. Twice. It’s what makes me one of the cool kids.



If I issue a suspension, a reason is listed on the users page. This is something other people who mod can do as well, but the individual may or may not do it. If there isn’t a reason on the users page then I didn’t issue it, nor can I speak as to why the user was given the suspension.


I’ll be as concise and circumspect as I can…

There is a Reg who has been banned twice in a short period of time, and I’m pretty sure by the same mod both times.

I don’t believe he was warned on either occasion.

I’m not by any means endorsing whatever @shaddack has to say. I can’t support his views in many areas. But he does participate here in good faith, and based on my conversations with him I do not believe he intended to be inflammatory in either case.

I am saying that when the choice is deleting vs. deleting and banning, someone with history here probably deserves the benefit of the doubt. Especially if they’re just saying something you disagree with.

And I think that’s what happened. He didn’t break the rules. It makes a difference.


Great, but I’m kind of interested in hearing if you felt it was a problem or not? People seem upset about this and I’d like to work it out, because this is generally a great community around here and I’d hate to see it fall apart.

Right, but some think that some suspensions are unfair, for whatever reason, and I want to figure out why they think so. This is less about your job and more about what people are concerned about. I’d like to hear about that and see what people have to say. [ETA] Or to say, this isn’t about you, but about perceptions about what’s happening here from the community.


Can we clarify whether the Questions thread should be free of moderation? (Not sure that’s even an open question.) Can what’s been deleted sometimes (at least) be put elsewhere? Could we get some explanation when whole chunks of threads suddenly disappear?

I ask because as I said in Questions, I thought the recent deleted exchange was productive, and was sad and rather miffed to see it go, especially after putting care and time into my responses on a sensitive issue.


I also chafe at this.

I appreciate that @Falcor usually notes what was removed and why.

Either way it sucks to lose good posts.


The comments in the discussion were flagged by another user, I agreed with the flag, it was eaten. To protect the privacy of who flags and why, I will not disclose. That is up to the user who flagged it, if they want to share.


That’s good modding. But why no note?

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I don’t make notes every time. The amount that I eat in a day I would get cramps in my claws.


But do you see, fair dragon, how us mortals get discombobulated when parts of the conversation disappear without warning?

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I’m not a fair dragon.


Then I thank you at least for not eating me for being a minor dissident.


So basically, don’t put too much care into addressing delicate issues, since your comments may well just disappear? IOW, this isn’t the place for in-depth discussion of such things? Got it, I guess…

And since seemingly separate places like the Questions thread are also subject to subjective moderation, I need to ask, are even PM threads as well?

ETA: Thanks Falcor for taking the time to write to us here.


This has been covered before at some length in other meta topics – there is a fine line between being informative enough that people know what they did wrong and not incurring a lot of extra workload for the community and the mods mansplaining and meta-justifying and rules lawyering why people were suspended.

I do think it is good to put in a brief sentence when suspending, even if it is just a link to the forum guidelines and the general rule number that was violated.
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I have no access to PMs, save for the ones I am included in.


Yes, PMs are only visible to moderators while they are flagged.

I will add that subjectively speaking, the longer a person has been a trusted member of the community, the more effort should be allowed for letting them know what went wrong such that they are having their stuff consistently deleted or being suspended outright.

Because I would hope such events are pretty rare, at least as an ongoing problem.


I just took a look at the stuff in question.

Nothing of value was lost, etc., but it is interesting in that sometimes you just look at something and explanation seems … possible but pointless? Sometimes there’s nothing in particular that deserves calling out, nothing in particular that’s a phrase calling the shot, but the totality of it and the context it exists in suggests that moderation (and/or a suspension) is the best way to prevent further garbage being posted.

Somehow this needs to be formalized, maybe?