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Users will be suspended sometimes by the moderator team due to various reasons. But there will be some enthusiastic users who are very much interested to know the reasons behind the suspension of a user. They go forward and post a question on the meta asking "Why user X was suspended?" and all fingers point out to a moderator (some even say that a mod has misused their power.)

There are some reasons shown in their profile page but they are not satisfied by it.

As the suspended user cannot come to meta and answer the question and diamond moderators are said to keep privacy in some matters, there could be chance of wild speculations.

When it comes to user deletion, the user is no longer available to reply to question and the account suspension reasons are a matter between mod and the deleted user. So, there could be many speculations from other users unless a moderator answers.

What should be done with the questions by normal users asking reasons for account suspension and user deletion? Should they be closed? Or should they be answered saying that the reasons to which moderators are allowed to give (which I guess would be the same reason for all the cases)?

  • @Catija Am I clear now? I edited the part. My question is should it be closed or answered giving some default reasons that "we received some flags" etc., – Nog Shine Jan 6 '18 at 3:37
  • They are always downvoted and mod-closed whenever I see them. The justification is exactly that the suspended or deleted user cannot respond, and anybody else raising the issue is being invasive to privacy. I agree with this de facto policy: close them. Firmly. – Nij Jan 6 '18 at 3:48
  • @Nij that sounds like an answer? Do you have any examples? – Catija Jan 6 '18 at 4:34
  • user527 on Sports is the only one immediately by memory, and the others would have been caught by Roomba or done by hand already, I think. @Catija – Nij Jan 6 '18 at 6:11
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We do not allow discussions about specific users on meta. Given that a question such as "why is this user suspended?" cannot be generalized in a way that doesn't talk about the specific user, such discussions are subject to immediate deletion.

That may be a short and blunt answer, but there's really not much else to say about it not already said in the other question. A question specifically about a user's suspension will not lead to constructive discourse. Experience has proven this time and time again.

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When this came up on The Workplace, I wrote a general answer explaining why moderators don't reveal this information. Later questions asking "why was so-and-so suspended" can be closed as dupes of this one. (I think that's happened once. More often, somebody asks in chat and gets pointed to that answer.)

We don't delete these questions in the name of transparency, but we will shut down discussion about the suspended user as opposed to the more general discussion when we see it. It's not fair to the user to discuss his situation in a public venue where he can't participate.

The suspended user is allowed to reveal whatever he wants, and on other sites I've seen users challenge their suspensions on meta after the fact. It usually doesn't end well, but they're allowed to do that.

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It's worth remembering, these discussions typically are not going to be constructive.

If a decision by a moderator dosen't seem right, it might be a better idea to pass it up to a CM - rather than trying to "solve" it by raising a fuss on meta.

Practically speaking, unless you're the individual suspended, it's none of your business. If you are the individual suspended, you've already gotten a moderator message, and a chance to respond, and a well defined way to get recourse.

all fingers point out to a moderator (some even say that a mod has misused their power.)

Mod messages were anonymised after a few incidents, including some mod stalking so its pretty unlikely you'll be able to point your fingers at specific mods. Besides, on many sites - we do discuss things like this so chances are it's already been vetted, considered and action taken after consideration.

I actually had a similar case - and I've more or less taken the same path that animuson suggested when I answered.

So more or less - you basically get no more information than what's in the suspension message, and we'll be glad to answer any generic questions related to your fears of being suspended. It's easier for us to let you know what's ok before you do the non ok stuff anyway.

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