When an account is suspended
The account will receive a private moderator message, explaining the exact details of the suspension and a box to contact moderators.1
The account will be locked at 1 reputation.
The user page will have a visual reminder that the account is in timed suspension. It will also include a brief summary explaining the reason for the suspension.
- Note that the public "reason" shown for the suspension is based on the moderator message template that the suspending moderator decides to use. It's also worth noting that if the moderator decides to start from a blank template, it will show as "for rule violations", so seeing that reason doesn't necessarily mean that the user has violated a specific, codified rule.
The account holder will be unable to post any question, answer or comment. They will not be able to accept an answer, award a bounty, or use any of their previously earned privileges. Additionally, they cannot edit or delete their existing content or suggest edits.
Migrations from other sites are prohibited and will be blocked.
If the user gets suspended on their chat parent site, they will also be suspended on Stack Exchange chat (chat.stackexchange.com) for the same duration. Changing the chat parent site will not clear the suspension. (If the user gets suspended on a site different from their chat parent site at the time of suspension, they will not be suspended on Stack Exchange chat, but moderators have the ability to change the user's chat parent site so that they are suspended on chat.)
If the user is suspended on Stack Overflow or Meta Stack Exchange, they will also be suspended on the corresponding site-specific chat server (Stack Overflow chat or Meta Stack Exchange chat) for the same duration.
During the suspension
- Badges can still be earned and awarded, though they won't be visible on user cards on posts. This is to avoid making the suspension more obvious in case the user has a lot of high-value badges (but only 1 rep).
- To deter users from "rage quitting" and regretting it later, there is no link to the page where a user can delete their own profile. Instead, it must be manually accessed by navigating to
/users/delete/current on the site where the user is suspended.
- If the account holder creates a new account to bypass the suspension, that account will also be automatically suspended for the same reason until the end time of the original suspension, even if the old account was deleted.
- New account creation is blocked from any method to access the site other than the full desktop site (i.e. apps which use the API).
At the end of the suspension period
The effects of a suspension are reversed by an hourly scheduled task. Therefore, once the suspension ends, it may take up to one hour for the effects to wear off; keep that in mind before filing a bug. Once that happens:
Earned reputation points (rep) are reinstated. This may be different from the rep value at the start of the suspension because your posts may have been upvoted, downvoted or deleted during the suspension period, and some of your votes may have been invalidated.
A record of the suspension and reason is recorded that can only be viewed by ♦ moderators and Stack Exchange employees. Once the suspension is over, there will be no public indication that the account was ever suspended.
For a period of one year after the suspension expires, the account holder is not permitted to run in a moderator election on any site across the Stack Exchange network. If the user attempts to run, the system will not permit them. (This rule does not apply if the suspension was in error or reversed on appeal; in that case, the user can contact Stack Exchange to be allowed to run. Aside from that, there are no exceptions to this rule.)
The temporary suspension is not related to question or answer bans; these operate separately. When the temporary suspension has expired or been lifted, you might still be prevented from asking or answering questions by this feature.
If an account is deleted by a moderator or staff member for spamming or user conduct, a 365-day suspension will be recorded under the account just prior to deletion. Should the same user recreate their account, this "suspension" will be "reinstated" (see "During the suspension" above).
- 1 This automatic suspension and subsequent reinstating do not carry a moderator message with them. Additionally, as such, the public "reason" will show as "for rule violations" (see above).
The check to see if a user doesn't have more than 500 reputation to see whether moderators can destroy a given account ignores that the user is suspended - it checks the user's rep live, rather than simply counting 1.
What is a network-wide suspension?
A network-wide suspension is applied to all network accounts of a user. It can only be issued by Stack Exchange employees and can be longer than 365 days. The most common reasons for a network-wide suspension are spamming, trolling, and to cool down.
Network-wide suspensions are actually a series of site-wide suspensions issued on all the user's accounts, and a mark on the network profile that causes all new accounts to be automatically suspended. The per-site suspensions can be lifted by local moderators.
Questions about network-wide suspensions can be asked here on meta with the tag network-wide-suspension.
How long do suspensions usually last for?
It really depends on the mod or the user, but usually, via the system-recommended suspension lengths, the first will last for 7 days, the second 30 days, and the third 365 days.