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Since we got minitech as a mod (yay!), lots of people have been getting review banned (and rightfully so).

Many of these people come to Meta to complain/ask about it. When they do, they seem to be thrown off by the current reason that shows up:

You have failed too many recent review audits, ...

This is misleading at best, and plain wrong at worst - it should say something like:

Your reviews were found to be not satisfactory by a moderator, come back in x days.

And, if possible, allow the moderator to leave a custom message telling the user why they were banned - if I was to be banned, I would really like to know why without coming to Meta.


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And provide some canonical reasons for moderators so we don't type something like "You suck at reviewing." –  animuson Sep 7 '13 at 22:00
Yes, please. No more confused Meta questions, we’ve had… 4 already? –  minitech Sep 7 '13 at 22:02
@animuson But, what if that really is the reason? –  Andrew Barber Sep 7 '13 at 22:22
@AndrewBarber well, maybe something more diplomatic than "suck". Like "your reviewing blows so bad we need you to stop for x days" –  psubsee2003 Sep 7 '13 at 22:45
This would also allow us to annotate for particular cases that might be harder to remember. "You approved spam here, here, and here" would let us refer back to that if they started reviewing poorly again, like how we can refer to previous suspensions if other kinds of bad behavior pop up. It's easy to forget what caused us to ban someone after we've been handling other issues for a few days. –  Brad Larson Sep 7 '13 at 23:14
@animuson I don't think that I suck at reviewing, however I was suspended from reviewing by a moderator. I think Robert Harvey ♦. I don't know why exactly I was suspended, so I think mods doing bans on at least dedicated reviewers like myself, should have to provide some specific examples as to why they banned a user, linking to the question/answer, etc. Here is a chat link that covers a bit of my situation chat.meta.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/1933698#1933698 –  Vote to Close Mar 29 at 15:38
If a cop follows you driving down the road for long enough, they will have a valid reason to pull you over, no matter how small the issue was. For people that do a lot of reviews, like myself, I would like to know when/where/what I did wrong. Linking to evidence. Should 1 "incorrect review" in a mod's opinion (sure mostly they are right, but not always) give the mod the right to ban a reviewer? Or should they need to find multiple occurrences of wrong doing? –  Vote to Close Mar 29 at 15:47
I know that mod initiated review ban's are mostly correct, but I think the mods should have to provide what I already stated. Because if a dedicated reviewer like myself can get banned, without knowing why, it can negatively effect the site. Because if good reviewers are being banned over 1 or 2 bad reviews out of the last 500, isn't it better to just invite them to chat to explain what they did wrong? Because just initiating a ban, and not explaining why, it could lead to the effect of dedicated reviewers from stopping reviewing all together. Which is bad for the site. –  Vote to Close Mar 29 at 15:51
@Stilly.stack The problem with being forced to provide examples is that there are a lot of reviewers out there that know they're not taking anything seriously and just clicking a button for the review count. Some users can't be helped no matter how much information you throw at them, and we shouldn't need to waste our time with them. If we run across a user who we think can be helped and needs to know what they did wrong, we would love to be able to provide the information they need. –  animuson Mar 29 at 16:06
what moderator does prior to suspension is also a review audit, only it's manual not automated. In that sense, only "too many" part is really slippery for manual suspension notice, for sometimes one but blatant miss may trigger it –  gnat Mar 29 at 17:52
@Stilly.stack - The reason that I put a bounty on this question was exactly so that I could explain to reviewers why they were banned. I banned you from review for 7 days because you approved this spam: stackoverflow.com/review/late-answers/4317671 and allowed it to stay alive on the site for weeks, as part of cleaning up all of the spam that reviewers let through here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/227105/135615 . You were the only one I didn't ban for 30 days, because of your review history, but you do need to be a little more careful with this stuff. –  Brad Larson Mar 29 at 23:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 29 down vote accepted

The UI now prompts you for a custom message when banning a user:

This is optional - but if you do enter a message, it will be displayed to the user if they try to review anything within the ban period:

Please note that if you're going to take the time to do this, you should strive to be as detailed and helpful as possible, pointing out specific areas where they could have improved.

Oh - and for system-initiated bans based on too many failed audits, the message will now appear as follows:

You have made too many incorrect reviews. For an example of a task you should have reviewed differently, see: ...

(Hat-tip to Manishearth)

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If the mod does not provide a message, will it say that the user was banned by a moderator? Or will it still say they were banned for failing too many audits? –  psubsee2003 Apr 9 at 17:31
@psubsee2003 It shows 'You haven't been doing a good job reviewing lately; take a break and come back in...' on SR. –  Undo Apr 9 at 17:33
It depends on whether or not audits are enabled on the site, @psubsee2003. If they are, they get the default "too many failed audits" message; if they aren't, they get the one Undo quotes. –  Shog9 Apr 9 at 17:34
So, did you click that button and now banned from reviewing? –  Shadow Wizard Apr 9 at 17:45
Of course I did. Would you prefer I tested new functionality on your account, @Sha? –  Shog9 Apr 9 at 17:47
@ShadowWizard Mods can actuall ban and unban themselves from review at will. I think most of us have done that at some point or the other :P –  Manishearth Apr 10 at 0:28
@Manish lol! And what about suspension? ;) –  Shadow Wizard Apr 10 at 5:00
@ShadowWizard Not sure. We're not supposed to :P –  Manishearth Apr 10 at 5:26
@ShadowWizard from what I understand of the privileges system we'll be able to unban ourselves and still upvote, etc. I'm not sure if suspended mods can post, though. I think they can. –  Manishearth Apr 10 at 5:47
That link in the message does not look very clickable... –  ThiefMaster Apr 10 at 6:26
@Manishearth go ahead and try then, surely Shog here can save you if you're stuck! :p (oh, but then you'll blame me. Never mind :)) –  Shadow Wizard Apr 10 at 6:36
Moderators should NOT be able to review-ban high-rep users at all, as this completely defeats the purpose of community moderation, which is intended among other things to guarantee that moderators do not (unilaterally) act against the community and that if needed bad moderator decisions can be reverted by the community. Moderators being able to review-ban users corresesponds in a real-world analogy to the governement being able to kick members who disagree with them out of the parliament... –  Dilaton Jun 12 at 22:08
That's a really poor analogy, @Dilaton. It's more akin to the head of the volunteer recycling program being able to kick you out for throwing glass in with the aluminum. –  Shog9 Jun 12 at 22:14
up vote 38 down vote

Agreed; the current wording can be pretty confusing from what I've seen.

While a custom message may be the best, why not add a compulsory field where the mod can list some/all the bad reviews made by the user? This will ensure that examples are given, so the user will know which reviews were bad and can learn from it (or put a focused complaint on meta as opposed to a generic "I am banned and I have no clue why" one). Data collected in this field might lead to further improvements of the audit system as well.

While we're at it, why not link to the relevant audits for auto review bans as well?

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hmmm... perhaps a listing of reviews deemed bad to show the user could come from a check box list the mod can choose from, to prevent the need to manually link? or, maybe that's overkill! –  Andrew Barber Sep 7 '13 at 22:24
@AndrewBarber I actually have a possibly better idea; but I'm not sure if it's one that would work as I'm not an SO mod: Let mods mark individual reviews as "bad" from the completed review pages, and let that trigger a ban (if there are sufficient bad reviews). The manual ban option should still be there, but this is better as it can work in tandem with the audit system and will cut down on trawling through the queues. (Even better, if it is integrated with the monkey-on-my-back proposed here) –  Manishearth Sep 7 '13 at 22:27
oh.. I do like the general idea there. An auto message could come from that, and it does flow naturally from what a review-reviewing mod is doing already, I think. –  Andrew Barber Sep 7 '13 at 22:29
@AndrewBarber Alright, will propose it. –  Manishearth Sep 7 '13 at 22:36

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