A user was on the receiving-end of a 30 minute chat suspension. One of his messages was flagged, and as a mod, when I validated the flag, that auto-suspended them for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, he came back in, and clearly had no idea why he had been suspended.

  • They didn't know which message was flagged.
  • They didn't know the reason the message was flagged.

To me, this seems like a terribly-designed system, but I wanted to make sure we weren't missing something. Before a user is suspended on an SE site, they generally do something, get flagged, and the moderators suspend them. When this happens, they send a message that explains to the user why they are suspended, and how to avoid future suspensions (i.e. improve their behavior).

After someone is chat-suspended, what are they supposed to do to find out why it happened, and what they can do to avoid future suspensions? Are there some features in the chat system that we were both missing that lays out some of this information?

  • They can see which message they were suspended for while the suspension lasts, but I don't think this is visible afterwards. And the reason is always "spam/offensive", which can mean pretty much anything. May 6, 2013 at 18:08
  • 4
    @MadScientist So if someone gets suspended, but is away from a computer during the entire suspension period, do they even know they were suspended?
    – Keen
    May 6, 2013 at 18:49
  • 1
    I don't think so, but I've never been on the receiving end of a chat suspension May 6, 2013 at 19:21
  • 3
    @MadScientist Are you sure about that? Perhaps you just didn't notice. May 6, 2013 at 19:26
  • @TinSoldiersAndNixonsComin' I'm a moderator on chat.SE, I can't be suspended from chat May 6, 2013 at 19:30
  • @MadScientist Were you one from the beginning? May 6, 2013 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


When the new code of conduct is installed, the plan is to show it to folks the first time that they use something, and then a 'refresher' on an as-needed basis. So, if you have something flagged and those flags are valid, you'll soon be greeted with the tl;dr version of the CoC for the corresponding thing (chat, or Q&A at the moment) as a just-in-time 'refresher' accompanying the suspension.

Chronic tripping of this system would result in a moderator letting you know that your main profile might / will be suspended due to the behavior, but that's not new.

We need a better initial feedback loop for users in chat for stuff that they probably didn't intend to be offensive (something better than confronting them outright), but we don't want the presence of that to get in the way of folks flagging outright hostile / horrible stuff (there's not always a need to warn first). Not sure what that's going to look like yet, but we know that it needs some love, especially with the new CoC coming out soon.

  • invisible +1 for updated answer. Also, this is much more adequate and detailed than mine. Jul 27, 2018 at 18:52

Having been a user who was suspended, I have not seen a message that told me which one was flagged. However, they usually occurred pretty soon after the message occurred, so it wasn't hard to find out. As far as I can tell, if you are gone during the entire suspension, there is no way to tell that you were suspended (Unless you get suspended again and notice the incremental increase).

This is only information from a user who was on the receiving end.

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