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This question is related to the account ban policy.

From here, we are told that an IP ban is administered when a user is banned. This issue has been brought up few times, and while they seem to be resolved, I feel like the rationale and procedure for the IP ban hasn't been explained adequately.

  • Why must the IP ban also be administered if the account is getting banned?
  • What happens to the users who are behind an NAT? Are they banned as well? Does SO administrators have to manually remove the IP ban upon request if any other users who are behind the NAT are affected by this as well?
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Details on the specifics of the automatic bans are intentionally kept secret, not so sure if this is answerable. Also, your second question is answered at the post you linked to (search for: "My account is in good standing how come I still get banned?") –  Yannis Mar 19 '13 at 7:24

2 Answers 2

I would not trust the description on that page, I doubt that the IP ban is used in the way it is described there.

In my experience as a moderators, SE needs a lot of convincing to create a manual IP ban. An IP ban is easy to circumvent in most cases, and it can potentially affect a lot of unrelated users. Manual IP bans are only used in rare circumstances.

While there might be some automatic IP-based filters, I'm pretty sure that they are not blanket IP bans whenever someone hits a question ban. From some earlier comments by SE employees I remember that users above a certain reputation threshold (I think it was around 100) are not affected by IP bans at all. But the details are probably something SE does not want to reveal.

If you're blocked from SE by accident, you can contact the team at team@stackoverflow.com.

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Why must the IP ban also be administered if the account is getting banned?

Because it often happens that when an account is banned, the banned user simply creates a new account and continues a pattern of unhelpful or disruptive behavior.

What happens to the users who are behind an NAT? Are they banned as well?

Such users will be unable to connect to the SO servers from that IP until the ban is lifted; see IP Banned on Stack Exchange for example. Personally, I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. If you're behind the same NAT as a banned user, there's a good chance that you or other SO users in the same situation know them personally and are more likely to be able to get them to change their behavior than any account ban ever could. (I'm not saying that the SE folks chose to use you as a lever. An IP ban is an imprecise tool, but there aren't many others available.)

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