This morning I received the following vague email:


I'm writing in reference to your User Experience Stack Exchange account:


I wanted to let you know that we've observed some rudeness in your latest activity. We get it; anyone who's ever tried to engage with others online has probably been tempted to lash out at someone else. This is just a friendly reminder that we require all participants to act in a professional and civil tone when using these sites. If another user has wronged you in some way, please do not respond in kind. Simply flag the content for moderator attention and move on.

If this is a simple misunderstanding, no harm done. Sometimes it is helpful to remind ourselves on occasion that keeping things friendly and constructive doesn't have to be at odds with being right — so enjoy the site, bring your sense of humor, and please be tolerant of others who may not know everything you know.

We have temporarily suspended your account; you may return after 7 days.

Benny Skogberg
User Experience Stack Exchange moderator

I'm looking back through my questions & comments, but I can't figure out what was considered rude. How can I learn the specific reason for my suspension?

  • 14
    Your rude comments are almost certainly deleted in this case, so you won't find them in your profile. – Mad Scientist Mar 23 '17 at 12:52
  • 3
    Usually it is deleted comments, did you reply to the message asking for more details? – Bhargav Rao Mar 23 '17 at 12:52
  • @BhargavRao I did. Just trying to learn if there's something I missed. – wogsland Mar 23 '17 at 12:54
  • That's quite literally the standard message for such things. And well, we don't know who you could have been rude to. Have you? – Journeyman Geek Mar 23 '17 at 12:55
  • 1
    @JourneymanGeek I have no idea. I haven't even had a disagreement with somebody on UX yet. – wogsland Mar 23 '17 at 12:59

What's not clear???

we've observed some rudeness in your latest activity


This is just a friendly reminder that we require all participants to act in a professional and civil tone when using these sites.

How can I learn the specific reason for a suspension?

Reply to the moderator message and ask for details. Normal users here are not privy to such details.

  • 1
    What's not clear is that I don't think I was rude anywhere and I certainly wasn't intending to be. If I don't know what behavior the moderator wants me to change, then I can't very well change it now can I? – wogsland Mar 23 '17 at 12:56
  • 8
    Like I said - you need to respond to the moderator message you got. There's nothing we can do here. – Oded Mar 23 '17 at 13:01
  • 16
    Come on, he wants to air his dirty laundry in public. Stop teasing us. – user1228 Mar 23 '17 at 14:16
  • 4
    @Oded To be fair, while we're all definitely traumatized and generally fed up with zillions of "omg why was I suspended" rants and such on metas, and I totally get that, this particular OP was refreshingly tame (relatively), and probably not deserving of three question marks after "What's not clear?". It's easy to let general burn-out from handling these types of questions affect our attitude right out of the gate. – Jason C Mar 28 '17 at 16:29
  • 1
    @JasonC - I've been told there's some history there, so... – Oded Mar 28 '17 at 16:30

Mods can describe the reason, and in my opinion they should. If they don't do it, it is evil. Although they aren't needed to do it, in my opinion it is at least questionable behavior to miss it. Furthermore, it opens the door before misuse accusations. Their template in these cases looks like:

"You were bad, you are not a nice guy, you posted insulting comments like these:

...examples of your insulting comments...

These comments were removed. Furthermore, you were so evil that I ban you for a year."

Although it is formulated more politely and with perfect English, but it is the essence.

As they cage somebody, they can select a list of templates, so they don't have to bore too long with a cage.

Also I experienced lately that I got a (similarly short) caging but without citing the real posts, why I was so bad. I hope, it won't become a new custom. If the mod doesn't cite the reason, it makes himself unattackable on an unfair way.

Posts leading to a suspension are also posts should be removed by their content. Thus, you can't see them, except the rare cases if you have 10000 reputation points on the site, which makes for you visible to see removed posts (but note, only mods can see removed comments, not even the 10k+ users). This is a highly problematic thing here on the SE, here you can downvote my related answer arguing against this.

But don't worry on a week long suspension, it is essentially nothing. It could be even far worse. Mods can only suspend anybody at most for a year; and only for their site. They tend to give the suspension times incrementally. The message you've now got will remain forever attached to your account, and it will be visible by the CMs and mods. Your next suspension will be at least 1 month.

All cage decisions are automatically reviewed by the CMs, but they mostly don't intervene. If you think it was really evil, you can contact them on the /contact URL of your page, but don't expect earth-shaking changes, particularly in the case of such short bans.

CMs can provide network-wide or much longer cages; an example. In the database record describing your account there is a date field for that, the maximal value is 9999-12-31. It is long, but the suspensions are only temporary, so we only have to wait.

If your cage happened not on a comment, but on an answer or question: you can still read your own deleted posts (you can even edit them), although the SE intentionally doesn't provide any way to find them. You have to remember its link, or to find it is its browser history. Only mods and yet higher powers can list the deleted posts of others (and listing the deleted comments is possible only with db-access, as far I know).

  • 2
    I would like to mention, this comment got its first downvote in 15:57:02, while it was posted in 15:56:58. It means, the most beloved downvoter had full 4 seconds to perceive my post, open it, read it, understand it, and to decide, that it is not useful. We have really exceptional people between us. – peterh says reinstate Monica Mar 23 '17 at 16:01
  • 17
    I was the third downvoter, and it's mainly because 1. you're not a mod. do you have a source for the "template"? (i.e. meta post saying that) 2. it seems like you're complaining about your own suspension, in a passive-aggressive way. 3. Furthermore, you're not even answering the question. You don't explain why he was, you just say "it could be worse". – Riker Mar 23 '17 at 16:04
  • 28
    It takes less than a second to reach the "If they don't do it, it is evil" sentence, and realise that the rest of the answer is probably not worth the time. – yannis Mar 23 '17 at 16:05
  • 3
    Thanks for the information. The uncivil behavior of people on this site sometimes makes me wonder why I even bother. – wogsland Mar 23 '17 at 16:07
  • 2
    @wogsland I'm sorry that neither answer to your question was very understanding. :( But the short answer is: none of us can really help you, only the UX mods (who suspended you and sent that email) can tell you the specific reason why. I hope you get it sorted out! – Riker Mar 23 '17 at 16:09
  • 9
    @wogsland You're calling people evil in an answer, and then assert that people who inform you that that may have contributed to why some people choose to downvote it as "uncivl". I don't think you know what "uncivil" actually means... – Servy Mar 23 '17 at 16:12
  • 6
    @peterh it's bolded and in written in a very rude way. You give no indication that it was long ago, it really sounds like you're complaining about your suspension. – Riker Mar 23 '17 at 16:14
  • 8
    @peterh and what's the literal problem? I don't see that. His question is "How can I learn the specific reason for a suspension?". You flat-out don't answer that. – Riker Mar 23 '17 at 16:15
  • 1
    @wogsland The solution is not to leave the site or to become silent on the metas, as you can see there is here a "collective punishment" by a hird of downvoters. This leads the sites into a false direction, the SE gets a false representation from the "community opinion" on them. You should fight it; you should communicate your opinion; you should help the community to get a real image from the opinions. Your upvote and accept would be enough to compensate 12 downvotes (although I will get probably more). – peterh says reinstate Monica Mar 23 '17 at 16:16
  • 1
    @Riker Thank you very much your diligence to comment the post, may I suggest the same diligence to understand it? And maybe a little bit lesser diligence to show your conditionless loyalty to the "community", it would be really nice. – peterh says reinstate Monica Mar 23 '17 at 16:18
  • 1
    @wogsland He pinged the wrong person, meant to ping the answerer. – Riker Mar 23 '17 at 16:21
  • 12
    Note that "working around" a suspension ... may not be the best advise ... – Bart Mar 23 '17 at 16:23
  • 4
    Given that you state "It is long, in the case of such long bans it is better to open a new account.", I don't see how any interpretation is dishonest. Working around a suspension in such a way will only lead to trouble. The user is suspended for a reason. Ignoring it and making new accounts is not the advise you should hand out. – Bart Mar 28 '17 at 13:54
  • 3
    If it was an attempt at humour, it's poorly executed and probably dangerous to those who happen upon it and think they should take your advice. Luckily the community has indicated what it thinks about your answer. Add to that that time and again you show a persistent lack of understanding about how the site works (or in the worst case you display a willful ignorance), so I think I can be forgiven for not seeing the humour in your statement. – Bart Mar 28 '17 at 14:26
  • 2
    (A good tactic in general is to reel in readers by starting off relating to the position that you expect the majority to have, and then transition smoothly into your counterpoint with a good case and a strong argument. This will generally lead to better, or at least more thoughtful, reception.) – Jason C Mar 28 '17 at 16:18

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