We just noticed an instance where a user that was manually suspended received a shorter network-wide suspension, and was then unsuspended earlier than the original suspension was supposed to last.

While this case is probably very rare, it is certainly not the intended outcome. A network-wide suspension shorter than an existing manual one should not override the manual suspension and lead to an earlier lifting of the suspension.

  • I think I've come up with an idea to fix this, while better catering to our use case of the feature. Going to be some work, sitting down to write a spec for it this week. Good news is, recidivism for q-blocked users will rapidly approach 0.
    – user50049
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


Turns out the problem here isn't in the lifting of the suspension. It's actually the opposite. When a profile is suspended, we queue up the suspension on every site individually, and applying the suspension just overwrote whatever was already there since, as Tim mentioned, there's only one place to track a suspension.

Since this is individual sites doing the work and there's no need to "check with the mothership", as it were, it's pretty easy to fix.

So, coming to the Stack Exchange theatre near you in the next build: when we apply a network-wide suspension to an account, we will check if the profile is already suspended on a given site and only apply the network-wide suspension if:

  • the user either isn't suspended at all; or
  • the user is suspended for a shorter period of time than the network-wide suspension would impose.
  • And when a network wide suspended user joins a site he never joined before? Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:35
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard The network-wide suspension will be applied as usual.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:35
  • Instantly? If there is a queue and a scheduled job/task that performs the actual suspension, isn't there a short period of time he will be able to post and even get association bonus? I know it's not really related to the change you made, just something I was always curious about and forgot to ask. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:40
  • @ShadowWizard It should be instant - we check for existing network suspension or prior site-specific suspension during the authentication/profile creation process.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:44
  • Good, glad to hear that! :-) Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 22:46

This is a known issue, and an ugly one to fix. There's only one suspension 'marker' per profile, and then there's the network marker at the root account level that also suspends any profiles created during a network suspension.

The glitch here is when lifting it, a background process just goes and unsuspends on every site where they have an account, just like it suspended them on every site where they have an account. It would need to check and see if there was an active suspension at the time the network suspension was imposed, and if longer than the network suspension, don't lift it on that site but continue clearing the network marker.

I'm going to see if we can get that fixed in the moderator re-tooling project(s) we're working on, but it is a very rare case, so I'm not sure how soon that's going to be.

The fix for now is to just re-suspend the account if they got out and the behavior continues (which is probably what led you to realizing this in the first place).

  • Maybe send automated system flag to relevant sites when account gets out of network suspension? Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 6:52
  • @ShadowWizard I'd like to give it a bit more love than that, because if it were sharpened up a bit, it could be an essential tool when it comes to controlling abusive accounts.
    – user50049
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 5:20

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