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When a moderator views the history of a user, there is no indication of when the user has been blocked from posting a question or answer. This includes users blocked for repeated low quality questions, for multiple deletions, for IP bans, and for questions that do not meet quality standards.

This would be useful in certain cases. An example recently came up in the mod queue, where a user completely changed the content of their question.

I would have guessed that the user was blocked from posting and so re-wrote a previous question, but I was unable to determine if the user was blocked by reviewing their history. With this information, it would be possible to handle the issue better, such as pointing the user to related posts on meta.

The moderator who contacted the user was unable to know why the user did what they did, and so could not say more than "don't do that again" in the moderator message.

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Of course, the example is of one situation where this would be useful. It should not be used as an example for the only reason why someone would want this. Also, this information would only be available to moderators. –  Won't Sep 15 '11 at 18:19

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

So this is a thing that is live and is visible to moderators.

A moderator can see if a user is post blocked, when, and if they've tried to post since being blocked.

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I think it would be a very handy feature as some new users or repeating "offenders" don't know where they are going wrong. If the moderator could see why they got banned, they could suggest some tips to improve the user's interaction.

Also, by seeing a users' history (i.e, banned from posting) it would allow more credible answers to get attention than the weaker answers (from users who provide low quality answers or simply copy and paste).

This would improve the quality of the sites vastly.

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This really just boils down to using common sense. If the user has a horrible track record, then it's extremely likely they are blocked from asking a new question and you're probably ok just assuming that.

Users do get a message when attempting to post a new question and a check blocks them. Not reading the message that explains what is happening and gives them a bit of guidance is...not our fault. Continuing to misuse the site because they can't/don't/won't read...still not our fault.

The details you need to handle that flag are already there: the user misused the site by rewriting a previous question.

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I don't like having to make assumptions when dealing with users. That means I'm less likely to take the best course of action. –  Won't Sep 15 '11 at 12:53
    
It's common sense. You can see from their profile if the user has a poor history of contributions. –  Rebecca Chernoff Sep 15 '11 at 16:41
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Its an assumption. I'd like to try and avoid that. –  Won't Sep 15 '11 at 18:09
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It also isn't an event that happens. It'd have to be reactive to anything the user did. Anytime a user does something we'd have to hit the db looking to see if we needed to insert the history event. Not worth it when we can use common sense. –  Rebecca Chernoff Sep 15 '11 at 18:17
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It honestly said surprises me very much that this feature is not implemented in SO mod system. I've been a mod on a major Dutch forum for years and this kind information was really valuable. You shouldn't expect from a mod that s/he knows the mod-specific track history of all >500K users from top of head. –  BalusC Sep 19 '11 at 2:00
    
@Chichiray that's not what we're asking. If the user edited a post that they shouldn't have, the bottom line is that they shouldn't have. That's really all that someone needs to know, isn't it? –  Rebecca Chernoff Sep 19 '11 at 2:23
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I admit, Will posted a relatively poor use case example. But you are after all not answering his concrete question/request at all. You made the poor use case the whole question. (oh, after reading the dictionary, I actually meant to say "invaluable" instead of "valuable" in my previous comment, sorry for that, can't edit it anymore). –  BalusC Sep 19 '11 at 2:46
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not our fault. That's not the point. The point is that it happens, no matter whose fault it is, and there are better ways of dealing with it. –  Matthew Read Sep 20 '11 at 16:26
    
@MatthewRead the people that get question blocked are blocked because of continued poor contributions. We can't fix everyone, unfortunately. An extra sentence in a mod message isn't going to magically change them into excellent contributors. –  Rebecca Chernoff Sep 20 '11 at 16:57
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See Chchiray's last comment. It's not about a particular mod message. –  Matthew Read Sep 20 '11 at 17:04
    
@MatthewRead I'm not saying it is. –  Rebecca Chernoff Sep 20 '11 at 17:07
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It would save us time, especially when dealing with people that decide to go to meta to ask instead (as evidenced by a rash of mod messages). I'd like a definitive "you are banned" which shows up in a new tab once clicking on an associated profile instead of having to dig through more sewage to figure it out. –  Tim Post Feb 24 '12 at 18:04

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