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I don't know the details involved in what led to a particular user's suspension, but I did notice that after the expiration of his previous 1 year suspension, he managed to earn another 1 year suspension less than a week later.

I'm not asking to debate whether or not a suspension was earned (as I have none of the facts as to what led to a suspension in the first place), but the length of the suspension seems excessive, and evidently not the most effective means to correct one's behavior. I can't imagine any infraction a poster could make (short of blatant spam / self-promotion) that could warrant a year-long suspension.

Aren't there more effective disciplinary measure that could be taken? A 1-year suspension is a severe punishment, not a tool to correct problematic behavior. What steps were taken to try and help correct such problematic behavior?

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    If we've reached the point of a year-long suspension, then you can safely assume that the focus has shifted from trying to correct problematic behaviour to simply not allowing said behaviour to continue disrupting the community. – yannis Jun 22 '18 at 20:59
  • you can generally assume that a user that is suspended for a year is at least on their third suspension, with the previous ones being for 7 and 30 days. That is the recommended standard escalation. – Mad Scientist Jun 22 '18 at 21:04
  • Naming the user might yield interesting answers in the event you're interested in non-moderators' opinion. – Denis de Bernardy Jun 23 '18 at 20:59
  • @DenisdeBernardy I didn't know if I was allowed to name the user but it's Venture2099. – C. Helling Jun 25 '18 at 14:43
  • @C.Helling: Meh, this is meta, and I'm pretty certain a number of users have been fingered if not by name then by question. Looking at his activity log, there were a few not very constructive comments and some recent back and forth revision wars - example. – Denis de Bernardy Jun 25 '18 at 16:45
  • @DenisdeBernardy The edit war you're referring to seems related to his first suspension, not his second. In any case, I'm surprised moderators don't have more tools to resolve issues like that, e.g. prevent users from editing if they are making destructive edits. – C. Helling Jun 25 '18 at 16:53
  • @C.Helling: They unfortunately don't. There was a thread a few months ago on a SE I follow that was related to another user who constantly bumped a post to the front page (might have been on History), and the mods basically explained the only thing they could do was to lock the entire page in that case - preventing any edits to anything or new answers. – Denis de Bernardy Jun 25 '18 at 16:58
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    @DenisdeBernardy Note that when a user posts something suspension-worthy, then that content will usually also get deleted, which means you won't find it in the activity log. – Philipp Jun 25 '18 at 21:05
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I'm sorry, but we can not discuss anything about the interactions between specific people and the moderation team, because this correspondence is confidential. This is a matter between us, them and the community team if one party chooses to get them involved.

We also do not publish the instructions from the Stack Exchange community team regarding how moderators are supposed to deal with disruptive users, because doing so would allow people to exploit these instructions.


But in general, when I notice that a user is violating the acceptable use policy of the Stack Exchange community or shows other kinds of disruptive behavior and I wonder if we should contact and/or sanction the user, then I consider various plus-points and minus-points to decide how I should deal with the situation:

  • How experienced is the user with this site and stackexchange in general? Do they need orientation and advice [+] or should they know better [-]?
  • How does the user contribute to the site in general? Are they usually a constructive and prolific contributor who just occasionally gets tempted into misbehaving [+]? Or does in fact a non-negligible part of their interactions show disruptive behavior [-]?
  • Was the user contacted before [-]?
    • How did the user respond to the previous critique of their behavior? Did they take it gracefully [+] or even apologized [++], or were they stubborn [-] or even insulting [--]?
    • Were they contacted for a similar offense [-] or something completely different [=]?
  • Was the user suspended before [-]?
    • How did they behave since they were reinstated? Was there effort to change their behavior [+] or did they immediately fall back into the patterns which lead to the suspension [-]?

and no, this is not a structured point system but rather a matter of intuition

When a user was suspended before, then we usually use longer and longer suspensions.

The primary purpose of suspensions is not to punish but to rehabilitate. Suspensions always come with an explanation of what the user did wrong and what we expect them to do to avoid further suspensions. We also usually direct the suspended user to resources which help them to learn how to better integrate into the community.

But if people refuse to change their behavior, then removing them from the community is unfortunately the last resort.

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    This is a very reasonable answer, I guess I am just disappointed because he definitely made some great contributions (including the 3rd most upvoted answer on the site, which was one of the reasons that motivated me to post here as well), so it is sad to see that a dispute between a user/mods has got this far. – C. Helling Jun 25 '18 at 14:56
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    @C.Helling - that answer is only good if you agree with its politics. The fact that 100s of SO fly-by HNQ users upvoted it because "Trump sux" doesn't mean it's a high quality contribution (the fact that it managed to attract 17 downvotes from an audience that rarely reaches 10 right wing people with right to downvote should speak for itself). – user4012 Jun 25 '18 at 15:09
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    @user4012 Yeah, it tells us there are 17 people on this site who will downvote quality answers just because they don't align with their politics... something you endlessly complain about (and under much less compelling circumstances). – Alexander O'Mara Jun 26 '18 at 7:01
  • Please try to stay on-topic. The topic of this question are suspensions, not politically motivated voting. – Philipp Jun 26 '18 at 7:47

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