How to deal with bannings?

Pepelepew

Active member
So its seems I messed up, I have created a community that's too invested in my forum and I was just compared to banning somebody as shooting a protestor. Like what the hell? it really shouldn't be serious its a small internet forum. I dont know if I want to keep doing this because this all just stupid and stressful.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
So its seems I messed up, I have created a community that's too invested in my forum and I was just compared to banning somebody as shooting a protestor. Like what the hell? it really shouldn't be serious its a small internet forum. I dont know if I want to keep doing this because this all just stupid and stressful.
Small forums are generally the most tightly knit, and generally administrative action is blown out of proportion as they feel personally affected by the decision. Community drama is also pointless and a waste of time as well 🙄.

If there is a reason that you can share for the ban, you can decide to post your reasoning; I would not do this if there are other parties involved, or if there is anything of a sensitive nature. Or you can just tell them there were reasons for why they were banned, and that you're not obligated to share the reasons with people uninvolved.
 

Sim

Well-known member
Try and develop a consistent system of warnings - and then use the auto-ban function when someone gets too many warning points.

My approach is to give someone an "educational warning" for their first offence on a particular matter where I explain the problem, point to the section of the rules which covers the matter and explain what action has been taken (eg post edited / deleted / etc).

For subsequent offences on the same matter, they get warning points assigned and a more harsh message cautioning them that continued behaviour of this nature will see them banned from the site. Warning points expire after 12 months.

If they receive sufficient warning points, the system will either temporarily ban them for 1 month, or permanently ban them.

I've set it up so that three serious infractions (after their initial educational warning), will see them permanently banned. For extremely serious matters, I may bypass this system and directly ban someone. For minor infractions, they receive less points - so it may take longer to ban them, but if they continue breaking multiple rules - it all adds up.

I like this system because it removes most of the emotion from the process of banning someone. Basically, you let the system decide when they get banned - all you do is hand out warnings (but it is important to try to be consistent in how you apply those).

Then you can tell other members that the system banned them for receiving too many warnings.

I also have a policy to not discuss banned members in public - it's especially important on one of my sites because people are generally not anonymous and so some comments that come from these types of discussions can be defamatory and lead to legal issues. I'm happy to answer questions directly and factually about someone in private (without going into too many details), but not in public discussion.

That's my approach anyway.

I've been running forums for 20 years now - I've found the best approach is to try and be as consistent as possible. I'm also pretty strict - but I try to be fair and consistent, knowing that you can't keep everyone happy all the time. This is also why I don't let my moderators hand out warnings - I make the decisions on who gets a formal warning, so that personal biases (other than my own!!) don't enter into it.

Moderation is a tough gig - you're always criticised for either moderating too much, or not moderating enough - quite often at the same time!
 
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