The blog post says account suspensions will be from 2 to 7 days. "...if the problem behaviors continue beyond the timed suspension, your account is very likely to be permanently deleted."

This user is suspended until Oct. 25 (as I write this, that is 28 days away). If the offense was so egregious as to warrant a month long suspension, why isn't the account just deleted?


An even more extreme example is this user, suspended until Feb. 4, 2011 (as I write this, that is 364 days away).


4 Answers 4


The general process:

stage 1
email warning1 and moderator message about specifics of unacceptable behavior

stage 2
7 day suspension

stage 3
30 day suspension

stage 4
365 day suspension

You advance from stage to stage by continuing to engage in the unacceptable behaviors, after the initial warning in stage 1.

1. assuming we have an email, which we might not; email is not required to use our sites

  • 1
    The dude in the question got a meaner ban stick then your schedule gives him credit for: meta.stackoverflow.com/users/5640 Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 21:05
  • 14
    stage 4 is a harsh mistress Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 21:17
  • 7
    365 > (120 || deletion) What did he do to piss you off this time?
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 21:34
  • 1
    is it an all account for all family sites or just the one behavior is poor in?
    – RSolberg
    Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 22:15
  • 3
    @voyager are you seriously going to argue that a 1 year suspension is worse than getting totally deleted?
    – TM.
    Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 22:58
  • 1
    @che - just the one.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 0:57
  • 6
    Having witnessed "Chetwood's" conduct here, on the blog, and elsewhere, I'm surprised it took this long for such a hefty reaction. If anything, I would say Jeff was long-suffering and beyond fair.
    – Sampson
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 4:58
  • 4
    @TM being banned for a year is exactly the same of being deleted. Really, it's a big neon sign that says GO AWAY!!!. I guess that was the intention, but don't sugar coat it with an unrealistical 1 year ban.
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 7:02
  • 1
    "Don't be a jerk"... After multiple rounds in the box and the behavior continues what exactly should have happened? Just because you disagree does not mean the entire community doesn't, it means you don't!
    – RSolberg
    Commented Feb 6, 2010 at 8:10
  • 4
    @Jeff, there should be a warning before each suspension (with details so that the user can change behavior). Commented Sep 2, 2010 at 19:22
  • 16
    @Lance - The warning prior to each subsequent suspension was the previous suspension.
    – Pollyanna
    Commented Jan 12, 2011 at 14:00
  • 1
    We don't have email warning for a sudden widespread self-vandalism. The account will be immediately suspended for up to a week "to cool down". Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 3:03

There's no way to know for sure why the account was suspended, so what follows is a wild and irresponsible guess:

The admins want the suspended user to just go away.

If they'd deleted the account, it's quite possible that the user would merely have recreated it. If they'd used a shorter suspension (and it's not inconceivable that they have, in the past) then it's just that much more likely the user would come back and go back to the same old tricks.

It may well be something like the protection schemes used by some authentication systems, where they make a user wait progressively longer after each failed attempt to log in. The user may never be able to use the site properly, but at least he'll be tying up less and less of the moderators' time while he continues to fail.

  • 1
    Hi Shog9, do you know if The admins want the suspended user to just go away is true in my case ...?
    – Dilaton
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 0:30
  • 1
    They want you to stop being disruptive, @Dilaton. I'm not going to speak for them, but I rather suspect that at this point more than one moderator is doubtful of your ability to participate on the site and contribute constructively to its governance without engaging in the sort of behavior that resulted in your suspension. My personal opinion is that you tend to take things personally and assume others do as well - resulting in entirely too many discussions centered around the personalities of others on the site rather than specific behaviors and actions. This has greatly vexed the mods.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 1:50
  • 1
    So they really want me to leave? I really hoped I could still do some physics, leaving alone any governing, meta, and such things. From the votes and nice answers I obtained, I had the impression that at least some of the questions I did on the mainpage have been not that bad, I had just started in quite actively help closing very low-level stuff, etc but everything seems to be futile now. In a nice email discussen Grace Note helped me with good advice what I could do, but after following it I did never get any kind of response in the moderator message box anyway.
    – Dilaton
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:02
  • 1
    Again, I can't speak for anyone else @Dilaton - but I'm not aware of any complaints about your main-site activity, except for that which properly belonged on meta. You know what I'm talking about (I hope) - comments on others' posts urging them to chime in on something unrelated elsewhere, rants about other users, etc. There's a reason we have separate meta and main sites, and it's that most folks on main don't really want to be bothered by site administrative minutia on a daily basis - you need to be respectful of that.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:06
  • 1
    I know, I even offered to stay away from any closing/reopening or other such meta/political issue and forget about chat and meta, but obviosly nothing seems to help.
    – Dilaton
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:09
  • 1
    I mean is there really nothing that can be done which would allow me to take part in doing physics again, while forgetting about and leaving all the site governing related issues alone? All I'd like to do is learning some physics together with the other folks I've learned to know, and even my real life job slightly depends on this as I am extending my research interests to topics I can knobody ask about at my institute...
    – Dilaton
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:42
  • Wait until the end of your suspension and do exactly that, @Dilaton. This is why suspensions are built with a time constraint - to give folks some hope.
    – Shog9
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:43
  • 1
    But I will have to give a strategic talk about my future research plans in October/November and the suspension ends on 22.December... Before our discussion (thanks for this), Grace Note therefore nicely gave me some advice how I could apply to shorten it a little bit, which I did in form of a reply in the moderator message box. The issue is so important for me, but non of the moderators is even replying to me, probably because you are right with your assessment of the situation ... :-/
    – Dilaton
    Commented Sep 12, 2013 at 3:56

It's certainly possible for someone to realize the error of their ways and become a valuable member of the community after 28 days.


Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do,
whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

bad boys

Suspension is a penalty, and each time you tangle with the site administrators your penalty increases. The point is to limit their ability to continue their non-constructive behavior on the site.

If they make a new account during suspension, they are very limited in what they can do with low reputation, and if they are caught with a second account they'll be suspended for longer.

  • This one doesn't work as well as the last edit I made to your posts.
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 21:36
  • Also, sockpuppetering is a big no-no. If you are caught with a new account, it will get merged, and you might be perma-banned.
    – perbert
    Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 21:41
  • Well, penalty increasing is one thing. Appropriateness of means another... Commented Feb 5, 2010 at 22:03

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