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Especially in light of recent changes to comment flagging so that now we distinguish between comments that are chatty, flagged for general reasons, or are rude/offensive, could we have some sort of heuristic that bans people from leaving comments if they have too many comments correctly flagged as rude/offensive?

Restoring the user's ability to comment could be done via having them contribute more answers. Answers are not the same as comments of course, but that's a pretty decent way to track someone's positive contribution to the site.

Alternatively, the ban could be time-based and just put the user in an automatic timeout for a few days with an appropriate message that'd let them know that too many of their comments have been deemed rude or offensive by the community.

Note: I'm thinking just about rude and offensive comments here. Comments flagged as "chatty" or "general" would be not count.

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Whatever happens here, anyone should still be able to comment on their own questions, any answer on their questions and their own answers even if they do get comment banned. – Jeff Mercado May 21 '11 at 4:40
how often does this come up? This seems to me to be covered by a regular timed suspension. – Jeff Atwood May 21 '11 at 5:10
@JeffMercado Good point. – Adam Lear May 21 '11 at 5:17
need a way to revert this somehow foremost. meaning there should somehow be a set of steps or procedures so that someone can come out of should be explicitly explained in the faq or some other documentation... – deostroll May 21 '11 at 5:18
@JeffAtwood A suspension cuts off all site participation. I'm thinking along the lines of a slap on the wrist that cuts out a non-essential part of the site. (I do have a specific user in mind. If I recall, he's been warned, but not suspended.) – Adam Lear May 21 '11 at 5:23
up vote 8 down vote accepted

I think this is a bit of a micro-optimization. Shouldn't a warning and a timed suspension by a moderator suffice?

If someone is leaving offensive comments, even after being warned, under what rationale do they not deserve a timed suspension? Why extend them the courtesy of merely removing their ability to comment? Help me understand the justification here for being so forgiving.

(Also, we haven't seen a need for this on Stack Overflow which is 1,000 times larger, so I am rather surprised mean-spirited comments would be so pernicious a problem on programmers to merit some kind of special code changes.)

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I agree, it's better to put a troll in the penalty box than duct tape its mouth shut while leaving it free to come up with new and improved ways of being annoying. – Tim Post May 21 '11 at 5:39
A year later, I'm wondering if I spoke too soon. – Tim Post May 28 '12 at 19:30
bring it up with Shog if necessary – Jeff Atwood May 29 '12 at 3:54

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