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Updated Warning/Strike and Banning Process as of 1/8/2016

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Updated Warning/Strike and Banning Process as of 1/8/2016

PostPosted by jesp » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:51 am

We’re changing the process for issuing strikes/warnings and banning a user. Previously, the process allowed us very little flexibility or leniency when it came to deciding if a user should be banned - it was three strikes and you’re out. With the new process, the moderators will have the option of overlooking previous strikes/warnings if we feel that they are not relevant, and will lead to fairer decisions going forward.

We don’t expect to use this often, but we want to have it implemented before we need it, so that every poster is aware.

The new process is below:

Mods/admin will usually respond to rule violations with a public reminder of whichever rule has been broken, and in most cases that is as far as the situation will escalate. If the rule violation was particularly malicious, or if the user(s) continues to violate the rule(s), a moderator will make a note specifying that the user has been issued a strike/warning, and that depending on the circumstances, further violation of the rules will be grounds for a ban. In rare circumstances the mods/admin may decide that a user has posted something that is inflammatory, dangerous, threatening, or disruptive to such a degree that it warrants an immediate ban. In these instances, the user will not be issued a strike/warning before a ban. However, the moderators and administration of IDB are committed to transparency and accountability, and will only take such an action if we decide that there is no other way to handle the situation. If the banned user or any other users take issue with how the situation was handled, they may contact any of the mods or email indepthbants-at-gmail-dot-com and we will be open to discussing what happened.


The new process will come into effect from the time of this post.

Use this thread to talk about our decision. If you have any questions or concerns you can raise them here, or you can contact a moderator privately.

You can find the rules, including the process above, here, and a list of the forum moderators here.

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Re: Updated Warning/Strike and Banning Process as of 1/8/201

PostPosted by eevee » Mon Aug 01, 2016 12:49 pm

Does this mean that a user can get more than three strikes and not be banned, or less than three strikes and still be banned? Just wanted to clarify, now there's no protocol for strikes and banning, it's all up to the mods' best judgement? Don't get me wrong, the mods here do an excellent job maintaining the community here and keeping the atmosphere positive, but I feel like we could benefit from a more clearly outlined punishment system. Although it'd be great to give users more than three strikes in certain cases, for example someone who made honest mistakes, I still think there should be a limit. As for immediate bans, I think it's fair to at least give one warning so someone can correct their behavior. With the exception of serious threats, of course. Specifically, I think someone should at least get one strike before a ban and someone shouldn't be able to go on with more than say, 5-7 strikes on their account. I'm just worried that this is going to make it easier to ban non-deserving people and harder to ban deserving people.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Re: Updated Warning/Strike and Banning Process as of 1/8/201

PostPosted by jesp » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:32 pm

eevee wrote:Does this mean that a user can get more than three strikes and not be banned, or less than three strikes and still be banned? Just wanted to clarify, now there's no protocol for strikes and banning, it's all up to the mods' best judgement?


It does mean that the amount of strikes a user gets before a ban will vary, and that a user could receive a high number of strikes and not be banned.

There is a still protocol for strikes and banning, but now it allows us to take the details of each case into consideration, before we decide to ban a user or not.

If, say, someone received three strikes over three years, under the old system we would have to ban them. Now, we have the ability to look at the reason for the strikes, and any other extenuating circumstances {like the user showing contrition, or if the user was goaded into breaking the rules, or any number of other possibilities}, as part of the process of banning a user.

When it comes to immediate bans, with no prior attempts to moderate, we would only use this option in the most extreme circumstances - think death threats, things along those lines. We would do our utmost to ensure that the moderation process is fair.

eevee wrote:Don't get me wrong, the mods here do an excellent job maintaining the community here and keeping the atmosphere positive, but I feel like we could benefit from a more clearly outlined punishment system. Although it'd be great to give users more than three strikes in certain cases, for example someone who made honest mistakes, I still think there should be a limit.


If there’s a set limit, it would still force us to ban people without considering any mitigating circumstances.

eevee wrote:As for immediate bans, I think it's fair to at least give one warning so someone can correct their behavior. With the exception of serious threats, of course. Specifically, I think someone should at least get one strike before a ban and someone shouldn't be able to go on with more than say, 5-7 strikes on their account. I'm just worried that this is going to make it easier to ban non-deserving people and harder to ban deserving people.


Like I said, immediate bans with no warnings beforehand would only be used in the most extreme cases. It is also unlikely that we would allow someone to keep posting after receiving five, or seven, strikes.

The main goal of the new system is to give the moderators discretion when choosing whether to ban a poster. If you received two strikes over a couple of months, then a third a year later, with the new system we would be able to overlook the previous strikes if they have no relevance. Thinking long term, this will allow fairer decisions.

I should say that we don’t expect to have to use this system very much at all, everyone has followed the rules wonderfully, and we’ve not had to use anything stronger that a mod note so far. I should also mention that if we do ban someone, we'll do it for good reason and will be able to communicate that to the forum, but that everyone on the mod team is accountable for their actions, a number of ways, and we're completely open to reconsidering a ban if the users disagree with it.
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Re: Updated Warning/Strike and Banning Process as of 1/8/201

PostPosted by eevee » Mon Aug 01, 2016 1:54 pm

Thank you for explaining Jesp I feel better about this new policy now. I think it's great that we can have a discussion like this.
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