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Case in point, I came across this user who posted two almost identical rants on the same question.

His first answer was the following:

Take the Arab and Chinese out of our computing! This worked fine before UNICODE, now even Hello World fails because of too-long-for-efficiency UNICODE. Quickest answer is do your own mod digits. No time to login, too many logins and pseudo accounts. ;} That is not the problem, the editor keeps displaying a symbol letter, while using int shows a full hexadecimal including leading ffff. Cast to unsigned char and you get a symbol, cast to int and you get a long hexadecimal display. This is Dev-C++ 4.9.9.2. The solution used to be cast to unsigned char. Casts and new variables are in-elegant here. The problem is unsolved. I am getting this infuriating output with unsigned int X = {char expression}: clr = RGB(0xffffffa0, 0x , 0x ); clr = RGB(0x69, 0xi, 0xi); clr = RGB(0x0, 0x , 0x ); Problem noted.

I guess he thought he was clever in disguising his second answer (after the first one was flagged/deleted):

INCIDENTALLY, I can produce READABLE Chinese, Arab and Sanscrit TEXTS just by committing a few GRAPHICAL MISTAKES on plain common Occidental alphabetical text, with a computer, of course. Try it out! Maybe someone hid computing for centuries from us because the savages could not stand our THOUGHT PROCESSES? Food for thought. You should convert this into an added, linkable DISCUSSION THREAD, not just erase out.

Take the Arab and Chinese out of our computing! This worked fine before UNICODE, now even Hello World fails because of too-long-for-efficiency UNICODE. Quickest answer is do your own mod digits. No time to login, too many logins and pseudo accounts. ;} That is not the problem, the editor keeps displaying a symbol letter, while using int shows a full hexadecimal including leading ffff. Cast to unsigned char and you get a symbol, cast to int and you get a long hexadecimal display. This is Dev-C++ 4.9.9.2. The solution used to be cast to unsigned char. Casts and new variables are in-elegant here. The problem is unsolved. I am getting this infuriating output with unsigned int X = {char expression}: clr = RGB(0xffffffa0, 0x , 0x ); clr = RGB(0x69, 0xi, 0xi); clr = RGB(0x0, 0x , 0x ); Problem noted.

I flagged both his posts with the following reasons:

  1. "Take the Arab and Chinese out of our computing!".. is this guy serious?
  2. This is the second time this guy has posted the same "Take the Arab and Chinese out of our computing!" rant. I flagged this guy approx 19hrs ago as well (see my flag history).

You may not be able to see those posts - I know I can't as I don't have enough rep to do so. The reason I didn't mark the flags as spam/offensive was because I wanted to explain my reasoning and as far as I know spam/offensive does not allow you to do so. My question is: seeing as he's a repeat offender who will probably try again, can we revisit the possibility of hellbanning users?

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Just in case someone else doesn't know what this means (I had to look it up, sorry I'm not well versed in netspeak): urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hellban "A ban from a message board that lets the user continue viewing posts and making posts, but that makes it so no other message board users can see the banned user's posts." –  Wesley Murch Jan 19 '12 at 15:30
    
I feel you; but hellbanning just seems flimsy and generally ... I dunno; it's like purposefully breaking the site. –  Andrew Barber Jan 19 '12 at 15:38
    
@AndrewBarber I brought up hellbanning because this is obviously a new user who has no rep associated with that account (i.e. nothing to lose), and temporarily suspending him will do nothing to prevent him from creating another (new) account and continuing.. –  Marvin Pinto Jan 19 '12 at 15:41
    
In the case of a new user, hellbanning could be extreme - and unjustified - overkill. –  Andrew Barber Jan 19 '12 at 15:45
    
@AndrewBarber You're right. Well I thought I'd bring this up anyway. I still stand by my repeat offender statement (in the question), but I understand why this wouldn't be the best reaction. –  Marvin Pinto Jan 19 '12 at 15:50
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Up to his third rant, all deleted by different mods. Well done, mods :) –  Adam Rackis Jan 19 '12 at 15:52
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@AdamRackis And now he's suspended for a year =) –  jadarnel27 Jan 19 '12 at 16:17
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How would you hellban without doing it by IP? Browser fingerprinting? Oh dear, that could get ugly. See this, we have no problem dealing with repeat offenders that elbow grease doesn't solve. –  Tim Post Jan 19 '12 at 16:32
    
On a side note, it's a little disheartening seeing a constant stream of -2's from my Newt client. And yes, I realize voting works differently on Meta but it still hurts :P –  Marvin Pinto Jan 19 '12 at 16:36
    
@TimPost If hellbanning were implemented, ideally it would be authorized by two or more diamond mods (as per this discussion) and of course the offender couldn't know he was hellbanned or that would defeat the purpose. To keep it simple, it could be implemented on the account level (instead of browser/IP/whatever). I'm not saying this will work perfectly but it would hopefully get "troublesome users to 'voluntarily' decide to leave the community with a minimum of drama" (as per Jeff's blog post). –  Marvin Pinto Jan 19 '12 at 16:45
    
@Marvin Great. Now do it without browser fingerprinting. With up to thousands of users potentially sharing one IP, how precisely would you suggest it be implemented, without fingerprinting browsers? You can't trust ISP's to route sanely, including mine :) Doing it at the account level would not work, it's just too easy to make a new OpenID. Besides, you don't need to be registered on SO to answer, just ask .. on the rest of the sites, you don't need to be registered at all. Incognito is all you need to be irritating. Nevermind proxies, etc.. –  Tim Post Jan 19 '12 at 16:49
    
@TimPost I agree that you can't accomplish this on the browser/IP level. The reason the account level might work is because the user would theoretically not know they've been hellbanned, so there's no incentive to create a new account. –  Marvin Pinto Jan 19 '12 at 16:56
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@Marvin When users with that level of perseverance don't get 'what they want' (even just to type on the internet), they more often than not do create additional accounts. If they feel the need to create one more, they often create several. I like what you're trying to fix, but I'm pretty sure we can't without getting 'creepy'. If it was just at the account level, it would be trivial to bypass. More sooner than not, someone will realize that they're talking to themselves. Hellbans only work when you can see the user come back, possibly from another IP and enforce it again. –  Tim Post Jan 19 '12 at 17:01
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@Marvin If we can avoid being creepy and handle it in a sort of 'manual' way, I am very willing to continue doing that. Thanks also for caring, remember .. down votes on meta just mean hangovers, err, that people disagree with you. –  Tim Post Jan 19 '12 at 18:08

1 Answer 1

There's really no need for that.

Moderators can already temporarily suspend repeat offenders, so flag one of his posts explaining that this should be done.

Aside from that, if enough of his answers get downvoted and deleted, he'll automatically be banned from posting.

Oh, and if his answers are offensive to you — flag them. The automatic downvote will help the answer ban along the way, and for the record, you can add a second, custom flag to a post that you've already flagged as spam/offensive, if you wish to explain your reasoning.

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