Since we got minitech as a mod (yay!), lots of people have been getting review banned (and rightfully so).

Many of these people come to Meta to complain/ask about it. When they do, they seem to be thrown off by the current reason that shows up:

You have failed too many recent review audits, ...

This is misleading at best, and plain wrong at worst - it should say something like:

Your reviews were found to be not satisfactory by a moderator, come back in x days.

And, if possible, allow the moderator to leave a custom message telling the user why they were banned - if I was to be banned, I would really like to know why without coming to Meta.


  • 37
    And provide some canonical reasons for moderators so we don't type something like "You suck at reviewing."
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:00
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    Yes, please. No more confused Meta questions, we’ve had… 4 already?
    – Ry-
    Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:02
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    @animuson But, what if that really is the reason? Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:22
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    @AndrewBarber well, maybe something more diplomatic than "suck". Like "your reviewing blows so bad we need you to stop for x days" Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:45
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    This would also allow us to annotate for particular cases that might be harder to remember. "You approved spam here, here, and here" would let us refer back to that if they started reviewing poorly again, like how we can refer to previous suspensions if other kinds of bad behavior pop up. It's easy to forget what caused us to ban someone after we've been handling other issues for a few days. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 23:14
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    @Stilly.stack The problem with being forced to provide examples is that there are a lot of reviewers out there that know they're not taking anything seriously and just clicking a button for the review count. Some users can't be helped no matter how much information you throw at them, and we shouldn't need to waste our time with them. If we run across a user who we think can be helped and needs to know what they did wrong, we would love to be able to provide the information they need.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 16:06
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    what moderator does prior to suspension is also a review audit, only it's manual not automated. In that sense, only "too many" part is really slippery for manual suspension notice, for sometimes one but blatant miss may trigger it
    – gnat
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


The UI now prompts you for a custom message when banning a user:

This is optional - but if you do enter a message, it will be displayed to the user if they try to review anything within the ban period:

Please note that if you're going to take the time to do this, you should strive to be as detailed and helpful as possible, pointing out specific areas where they could have improved.

Oh - and for system-initiated bans based on too many failed audits, the message will now appear as follows:

You have made too many incorrect reviews. For an example of a task you should have reviewed differently, see: ...

(Hat-tip to Manishearth)

  • If the mod does not provide a message, will it say that the user was banned by a moderator? Or will it still say they were banned for failing too many audits? Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:31
  • @psubsee2003 It shows 'You haven't been doing a good job reviewing lately; take a break and come back in...' on SR.
    – Undo
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:33
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    It depends on whether or not audits are enabled on the site, @psubsee2003. If they are, they get the default "too many failed audits" message; if they aren't, they get the one Undo quotes.
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:34
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    So, did you click that button and now banned from reviewing? Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:45
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    Of course I did. Would you prefer I tested new functionality on your account, @Sha?
    – Shog9
    Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 17:47
  • @ShadowWizard Mods can actuall ban and unban themselves from review at will. I think most of us have done that at some point or the other :P Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 0:28
  • @Manish lol! And what about suspension? ;) Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 5:00
  • @ShadowWizard Not sure. We're not supposed to :P Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 5:26
  • @ShadowWizard from what I understand of the privileges system we'll be able to unban ourselves and still upvote, etc. I'm not sure if suspended mods can post, though. I think they can. Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 5:47
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    That link in the message does not look very clickable... Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 6:26
  • @Manishearth go ahead and try then, surely Shog here can save you if you're stuck! :p (oh, but then you'll blame me. Never mind :)) Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 6:36
  • Moderators should NOT be able to review-ban high-rep users at all, as this completely defeats the purpose of community moderation, which is intended among other things to guarantee that moderators do not (unilaterally) act against the community and that if needed bad moderator decisions can be reverted by the community. Moderators being able to review-ban users corresesponds in a real-world analogy to the governement being able to kick members who disagree with them out of the parliament...
    – Dilaton
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 22:08
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    That's a really poor analogy, @Dilaton. It's more akin to the head of the volunteer recycling program being able to kick you out for throwing glass in with the aluminum.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jun 12, 2014 at 22:14

Agreed; the current wording can be pretty confusing from what I've seen.

While a custom message may be the best, why not add a compulsory field where the mod can list some/all the bad reviews made by the user? This will ensure that examples are given, so the user will know which reviews were bad and can learn from it (or put a focused complaint on meta as opposed to a generic "I am banned and I have no clue why" one). Data collected in this field might lead to further improvements of the audit system as well.

While we're at it, why not link to the relevant audits for auto review bans as well?

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    hmmm... perhaps a listing of reviews deemed bad to show the user could come from a check box list the mod can choose from, to prevent the need to manually link? or, maybe that's overkill! Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:24
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    @AndrewBarber I actually have a possibly better idea; but I'm not sure if it's one that would work as I'm not an SO mod: Let mods mark individual reviews as "bad" from the completed review pages, and let that trigger a ban (if there are sufficient bad reviews). The manual ban option should still be there, but this is better as it can work in tandem with the audit system and will cut down on trawling through the queues. (Even better, if it is integrated with the monkey-on-my-back proposed here) Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:27
  • oh.. I do like the general idea there. An auto message could come from that, and it does flow naturally from what a review-reviewing mod is doing already, I think. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:29
  • @AndrewBarber Alright, will propose it. Commented Sep 7, 2013 at 22:36

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