I was wondering what's the etiquette about this.

The comments in this question made me wonder if moderators had any guidelines regarding "boxing". I was under the impression that this measure was for serious offense only.

  • 1
    They were only boxed for a day. It was only a short term ban because it was not too serious of offense. Longer bans for worse offenses.
    – jjnguy
    Aug 27 '09 at 20:03
  • 1
    I do think the rules should be clearly laid out somewhere.
    – jjnguy
    Aug 27 '09 at 20:08
  • Maybe this is some form of carbohydratism? Aug 27 '09 at 20:08
  • @jjnguy that's what I'm asking here, what exactly are the rules
    – juan
    Aug 27 '09 at 20:09
  • Where did Diago's answer go? Am I the only one confused by what the mods are doing? Judging by this question, I'm guessing not... Aug 27 '09 at 20:51
  • @Adam: Thank God I'm not the only one. I thought I must have accidentally ingested crazy pills. Aug 27 '09 at 20:53
  • This hasn't been locked yet? Good lord, folks, this is an awful lot of agony to go through in one day. I apparently missed the now-epic waffles discussion (oh how I wish I could have seen it so I could be more enlightened about the drama), but there's a lot of fighting and bloodshed going on for really no good reason here. Why all the attacks on Rich B? He's already binned fercryinoutloud! Let it be.
    – John Rudy
    Aug 27 '09 at 21:05
  • 2
    META IS BUUURNING!!! Oh wait, no, it's just become repetitious and boring. Good grief, someone post something insightful on a feature request or something... If this keeps up, i might have to answer a programming question.
    – Shog9
    Aug 27 '09 at 21:08
  • 3
    @John, As you probably can guess it wasn't really about waffles, Rich B is just waffling on the real issue. Aug 27 '09 at 23:57
  • @Lance: Why don't you tell us all what you believe was the problem then?
    Aug 31 '09 at 15:37

Personally, I think it is crazy that we even need to have a penalty box. Obviously in the ideal world, we wouldn't need it because folks would be respectful in general. However, that clearly is not the case here on the SO sites, some seem to think that it can't exist on the internet.

For first time offenders, they should be given a warning by a moderator (or higher). The warning does not need to be made public and should be between the moderators and the user. If the behavior is not changed immediately, then the Penalty Box should be used for a minimum of 7 days.

If it is not a first time offender, and the user is up to their old patterns, a stay in the Penalty Box for an entire month would be the last chance for the user. If after a month in the penalty box, the behavior is still unchanged, then a permanent ban should be implemented on that user's account.

The state of Washington has a 3 strikes rule and after your third offense, you are given a life sentence. Maybe taking a harsher stance towards the abuse we've been seeing on the site would help put an end to this ridiculous issue.

I personally think that having class primarily encompasses respect. By no means do I feel that I've always acted that way on this site, but at the end of the day if we all had class, we wouldn't be discussing this right now.


I'd say when a person has abused the site to the point where the questions/answers appear to be adjuncts to that person's comment spam, there doesn't need to be a waiting period.


It is up to the discretion of the moderators to decide when to send someone to the box. They are appointed to their positions, and are expected to know what is right and what is wrong. I don't believe it is up to any of us to decide when they can use their powers, after all, they have them for a reason, and we don't. If you feel a moderator has abused their power, email team@stackoverflow.com to discuss it privately.


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