When moderators send a message, the current system only allows you to post a single reply, then prevents you from following up again in any way until a moderator responds first.

This is bad because not only are there plenty of reasons that someone may need to post again, but it also allows corrupt mods to freeze out a user by simply not posting a response, thus completely shutting the user up for no good reason.

I cannot conceive what legitimate reason there could be to prevent users from replying again, but if the concern is of spam, then simply put a timer on it that prevents them from posting responses too fast.

There should be an edit button to allow a user to modify their previous post. Not only would that allow them to add additional information, but it would also let them clean up their previous responses which might be a little heated and rushed considering the nature of most moderator communications.

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    You are assuming everyone who receives a mod message has self control. I'm sure if users were allowed to reply at will, they would drive mods nuts with replies or edits – psubsee2003 Jun 20 '14 at 0:43
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    How many obscene tirades have you had land in your inbox when you visit the site in the morning? I learned very quickly not to respond to certain types of suspended users, because that just gave them another chance to spew garbage at me. If a messaged or suspended user needs to contest something beyond the one response they get (which they have all the time in the world to craft), they can email the community team for another review. – Brad Larson Jun 20 '14 at 1:02
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    "it also allows mods to freeze out a user by simply not posting a response, thus completely shutting the user up" That's a feature, not a bug. – yannis Jun 20 '14 at 9:08
  • I feel so strongly that I have to pile on here. There are very specific reasons for this, noted above. If someone has a reasoned response to send after that initial response, they can send it to the staff. – Andrew Barber Jun 20 '14 at 13:26
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    You all seem to have stopped reading after half of the title because nobody even bothered to address the edit-button issue which is a perfectly valid request. Typical narrow-minded inside-the-box thinking by the SE network. Just because you cannot think of a valid scenario doesn’t mean none can exist. This speak-only-when-spoken-to issue is very fascist and obsolete. But if you like living in a totalitarian past, then go ahead. There’s plenty of other sites where freedom of speech and open discussion is actually welcome. – Synetech Jun 22 '14 at 3:53
  • Note that suspensions are usually given out for very specific instances of unacceptable behavior. There's no point in arguing about such behavior—and suspensions are rarely lifted. The simple reason being that any amount of explanation will probably not excuse whatever caused the suspension in the first place. If there is indeed a mistake, the SE team may investigate though. That's where you'd rather want to go. The mod message system was not devised for discussions. – slhck Jun 22 '14 at 6:43
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    And as for an edit button, it just shifts the issue. Should the Mods be notified of any edit? Or why wouldn't it allow someone to just edit the entire reply, on and on... – slhck Jun 22 '14 at 6:44
  • @Synetech: You have a certain degree of freedom of speech (which is something that governments ought to protect to keep them at least slightly honest. The concept is misunderstood on the internet). You're asking for a feature (editing replies) to work around an issue (being able to re-reply to a mod message), that already has a solution (chat), with a tool that's not quite optimised for the problem (two way communication). What you want is clear. There's better ways to do it. – Journeyman Geek Jun 23 '14 at 0:22
  • If I had an edit button, I could revisit my response to the moderation team and add more evidence that occurred to me after I first responded. "Shutting me up" is rather unfair when I can prove that I have served SO well by appropriately voting on posts (not users) and NOT targeting the single user that reported me. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/297482/… – mickmackusa Jun 22 '17 at 7:02

"Reply to a mod" - "Chat with a mod" - "Annoy a mod" - "Waste a mod's time"


If you really want to annoy mods, you can use the "contact us" footer link or chat. But if you want to just annoy somebody, you can dispute on meta.

  • hehe; true enough. And I find when someone's engaging in a reasoned discussion/inquiry, it tends to happen from that very first response, and most moderators are happy to spend a little time helping someone earnestly looking to improve - so responses tend to come. – Andrew Barber Jun 20 '14 at 13:36
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    Fun fact: "contact us" goes to employees, not volunteer site mods. Annoy with care. – Adam Lear Jun 20 '14 at 16:10
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    @AnnaLear "Care", "Abandon"... same thing! – Andrew Barber Jun 20 '14 at 16:14
  • If “annoying” mods is as far as your brain can extend in imagining a valid scenario, then maybe you shouldn’t have bothered weighing in with your ½¢. What you posted is a (judgmental and unhelpful) comment, not an answer (and even fits in a 512-character comment as is). – Synetech Jun 22 '14 at 3:46

This bad because not only are there plenty of reasons that someone may need to post again, but it also allows mods to freeze out a user by simply not posting a response, thus completely shutting the user up.

Shutting up certain kinds of users is exactly what this system is intended to do. Moderator messages and replies to them notify all moderators of the site, unlimited replies could get very annoying rather quickly.

Many users don't react well to being suspended, and replies to the suspension message that only insult the moderators are not that uncommon. Preventing further responses is necessary in such cases.

Discussing a suspension is also not really a productive exercise in many cases, moderators generally explain the reason for the suspension once, and respond with clarifications if necessary. But open-ended discussion is usually a bad idea and ends up being a huge waste of time for everyone involved.

If you want to appeal the suspension, the correct way is to contact the SE community team, as already mentioned.

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    Yup. As much "fun" as it sometimes would be to respond to the folks who like to troll us in response to mod messages, we try to refrain. (And CMs remind us to refrain when we give in to the temptation!) It's part of their job, but I know the CMs must have incredible patience and people skills to be able to handle what I assume they have gotten in their inbox in response to some of my moderator actions! ;) – Andrew Barber Jun 20 '14 at 13:38
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    @Andrew Well-stocked liquor cabinets help. ;) – Adam Lear Jun 20 '14 at 16:11
  • @AnnaLear - I didn't realize they paid you enough to keep it well stocked. Guess that explains why they can't afford more CMs than they have. – AJ Henderson Jun 20 '14 at 17:53
  • @AJHenderson "well" might be optimistic. but it's definitely stocked. – Adam Lear Jun 20 '14 at 17:58
  • @AJHenderson Anna is a dev now, not a CM. Maybe her liver couldn't take it anymore ;-) – Disappointed in SE Jun 20 '14 at 17:59
  • It seems you didn’t bother to read the actual question. I guess you must have stopped after the title and/or first paragraph. Just because you cannot conceive of a valid scenario doesn’t mean that none could ever possibly exist. I may not be omniscient, but I don’t have to be to know that you are not either. – Synetech Jun 22 '14 at 3:48

Note, while I'm a mod on 2 sites, one of which might be the site in question, I've not quite got my mod hat on. My views here may not reflect the views of SU, SR or even the SE moderators as a whole.

Mod messages are a last resort. If you want a conversation with a mod, or mods, pop by chat, and ask for a/the mod. Considering the nature of the suspension (assuming what it's for), I do believe you should still be able to chat. We can always hide the bodies later, assuming it's something you don't want to leave on a public chat.

In fact, superuser has a chatroom specifically for contacting the mods, and a good chunk of us are in the site's primary chatroom - Assuming this is what I think it's about, that might be an option here for a civil discussion (Which we'll try our best to hold!).

I clearly have a bias as a chatroom regular and a newish mod, but you actually do have options here outside the seekrit mod message system - which is really a single purpose channel of communication - we don't want you to wonder why you were suspended.

Suspensions are rarely arbitrary. I actually find that there's very few situations that warrant them - You're someone who we think actually deserves a second, third or even 4th chance.

The mod message system is probably the worst thing you can use for this sort of thing in its current state.

It's also useful to consider that the point of a suspension is to cool down. If you're thinking of counters to the suspension, maybe it's not working. Take a deep breath, consider if why you were suspended was worth it, and take a chill pill.

I'd consider an edit button or the ability to do anything other than acknowledge, and reply somewhat counter productive in this scenario.

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