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JonikW
07-06-2019, 11:54 PM
I've noticed a few users being banned since I joined the site in 2015 and a couple of these surprised me based on posts I'd read and enjoyed. I've found it difficult to look through their final posts and work out what happened. In the interest of openness and so that everyone here could learn from their mistakes, would you consider posting the reasons when you make these decisions?

JMcB
07-07-2019, 12:11 AM
I've noticed a few users being banned since I joined the site in 2015 and a couple of these surprised me based on posts I'd read and enjoyed. I've found it difficult to look through their final posts and work out what happened. In the interest of openness and so that everyone here could learn from their mistakes, would you consider posting the reasons when you make these decisions?

According to the Terms of Service:

6.6 Individual bans/suspensions are not for general discussion on the forum as they distract from the forum's intended focus. Any open threads or posts relating to these will be managed accordingly. Instead, if members of the community wish to learn about another member's ban/suspension, they must contact a member of the administration via PM directly to address their inquiries. Additionally, existing members must not post any content on behalf of banned members.

JonikW
07-07-2019, 12:19 AM
According to the Terms of Service:

6.6 Individual bans/suspensions are not for general discussion on the forum as they distract from the forum's intended focus. Any open threads or posts relating to these will be managed accordingly. Instead, if members of the community wish to learn about another member's ban/suspension, they must contact a member of the administration via PM directly to address their inquiries. Additionally, existing members must not post any content on behalf of banned members.

Thanks JMcB. I was interested in one in particular from a while back so will try contacting to see how it works.

DMXX
07-07-2019, 12:46 AM
Some of the founding administrators contemplated a procedure along these lines, but we ultimately decided against it following some hefty deliberation in 2012. I'm happy to summarise the basis of those old discussions (as best as I can remember them).

The primary reason why we don't publicly disclose member bans and suspensions is to keep the object:subject ratio in forum discourse as subject-shifted as possible. Wanton public disclosure of every suspension or ban we undertake will result in derivative discussions that clearly aren't related to current genetics or anthropology. Even if it were restricted to a single locked thread, we'd inevitably see members feel enabled to freely discuss the merits or drawbacks of a given suspension or ban elsewhere. That will have an undesirable effect on overall content quality. While real-time public disclosure maximises the community's awareness, it will serve as an inconsequential distraction to the site's intended function (disseminating ideas and learning from one another).

A second reason is to minimise the amount of attention that ex-members who we've expelled from the community receive. Some banned individuals - Who were previously quite active on this site - Ended up being persistent trolls who created multiple sockpuppet accounts with the intention of undermining the discussions here. Others had broken our Terms in a rather spectacular fashion, or the Terms were broken in a manner which compromised the privacy or details of another user.

A third and final reason, which is currently a hypothetical only, is that we're mindful of inadvertently creating a "leaderboard" of sorts for the same persistent individuals to try and undermine the forum's community through progressively incendiary means. The previous two reasons stated above were guided by our collective experience in other forums, which did publicly divulge everything in real-time.

All suspensions and bans are decided upon by several members of our team in any particular case, where the application of our Terms of Service and Infraction Protocol is made in all cases. Per section 6.5,



6.5 All member infractions are assessed on a case-by-case basis through the consultation of all available staff members. With the exception of circumstances deemed urgent by the administration, all decisions pertaining to infraction delivery are adjudicated by available staff at a given time.


We nonetheless recognise our obligation to provide the community with a substantive and accurate explanation for why we undertake these suspensions and bans. Per section 6.6:



6.6 Individual bans/suspensions are not for general discussion on the forum as they distract from the forum's intended focus. Any open threads or posts relating to these will be managed accordingly. Instead, if members of the community wish to learn about another member's ban/suspension, they must contact a member of the administration via PM directly to address their inquiries. Additionally, existing members must not post any content on behalf of banned members.


We will gladly provide you (and any other members who are curious about any suspensions or bans affecting any current or ex-members) with a full explanation. You've indicated that you're curious about the fate of quite a few ex-members. Feel free to PM any of us (I don't mind) and we'll fulfill our duty here.

JonikW
07-07-2019, 08:56 AM
That sounds like a great policy and it has now worked very well for me. I received a detailed reply about the user infraction I was interested in, for which I'm very grateful.