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Joining the https://drupal.stackexchange.com just about a month ago I have only been trying to be helpful answering questions, editing posts, using votes and flags, and gradually learning the rules of the community. And unintentionally maybe I broke some of them, because logging into today I was totally surprised by the notice:

This account is temporarily suspended for rule violations. The suspension period ends on May 4 at 7:45.

The only reference was to A Day in the Penalty Box, which does not explain the exact reason(s) why I was punished like that.

And I wonder how on earth we are expected to learn the right ways of doing things around here if we are not given the clear explanation of why we had been penalized in the first place?!

Is there a way to dispute this kind of punishment that could easily be subjective of whoever did this to my account? If not, is there a way to learn my mistake(s), so I don't repeat it/them in the future?

EDIT:

First of all, thank you everybody who is trying to help me out of this situation. I apologize for not being able to clearly communicate myself. English is not my first language. But I will try my best to elaborate on some comments below.

  1. Contrary of some suggestions below, the account was created from a fresh, and there wasn't any conflicting or pre-existing account. I would avoid stepping onto number of mistakes if I was so experienced about using Stack Exchange and if I knew the rules.

  2. There was no spamming attempt, and I have nothing to advertise. I have only tried so far to being useful and help users with their Drupal problems. Please someone from the mighty moderators review every single of my posts on https://drupal.stackexchange.com and you will see there was nothing bad, only spending my own time and efforts to help others.

  3. I have an impression I am being punished for being successful in helping users to find right solutions to their problems. My account gathered more than 800 points in about a month period. I don't know if that's quick or not, but I made a goal to come to the website every single day and try to find a solution to at least one problem. And my efforts were sincere, there was no any single intention to act on bad goals.

I just did not know all the rules, still don't know, and I don't think it is really possible to read every single letter of TOS to obey them under penalty of such death as my account is going through now. I just knew that to have a good intentions and to help people was good enough and that I would intuitively learn all the rules by time passing.

I do request moderators to read every single post I had and indicate what exactly I did wrong.

Really sad picture...

By the way, here is the screenshot of my https://meta.stackexchange.com/topbar/inbox page:

Enter image description here

As you can see there was no any notice about penalty. Nor I received any e-mail notification with regard why my account was penalized.

Also it is worrying that some suggest below that everything is gone. I do hope that my account is just under a temporary penalty and that I will get all the points gathered by putting so much effort will be intact. Please confirm this or I am just walking away as there is really no joy of becoming a member of such unfair environment.

EDIT #2: I see all my posts listed on https://stackexchange.com/users/13116337/altagrade?tab=inbox intact, however clicking on them I see they all attributed to user83854. If anyone who is power will want to maintain a justice and bring my account back, then I will continue to be a member. Otherwise, I just do not see any meaning to put efforts to help others just to get punished like this for no reason given.

EDIT #3: Farewell my friends!

You got an email about this, but it could be on an email account you never use anymore, or it ended up in your spam folder. You also got an inbox notification.

@Glorfindelm thanks for summarizing what might've happened to my account below, however believe me: I checked everywhere and could not find any such notification. The account was deleted silently, you can be absolutely sure about this!

Later on you decided to recreate it (hence it only has one badge and no associated posts).

I never did try to re-create my account. I just visited the website just to find everything was gone.

Yes, this is the reason why the account was deleted (plus some voting irregularities). The ban seems automatic, thought, done when the user re-joined the site. – kiamlaluno 14 hours ago

@kiamlaluno, thank you very much for confirming the reason of deletion. I don't doubt your integrity, you seem to be a good guy, but please be little bit more considerate in the future, try to differ innocent ignorance from intentional evil before hurrying to use your mighty moderator axe at once.

Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat.

It is totally my fault to add that unfortunate description and I do accept the consequence.

Poena non adaequat.

However, despite the unfortunate description of the profile, I was in fact the sole person using the account. And I believe ignorant users like myself (who did not read every letter of TOS and so were not aware of certain rules) should be given a warning, a chance to do right thing. Silently deleting their accounts and giving them no explanation does not serve the purpose of making the whole system better.

On the contrary it pushes them away. I will never again spend my time posting helpful answers on https://drupal.stackexchange.com unless my account is re-instated in full, which apparently won't happen here.

And just in case if someone in power around here will want to fully investigate this case, here are some additional details:

  • Soon it will be gone, but if you google AltaGrade now, then among other results you will see this one too:

enter image description here

As you see even-though impact is small, my account still got into top 0.92% this year, it had many accepted answers and within a month gained around 800 reputation points. Because I was really trying to help users, giving them hints in comments and offering substantive answers to their problems.

  • Cache for my profile is available at https://bit.ly/2qQAscQ for now, but here is the screenshot just in case:

enter image description here

I just wish moderators of https://meta.stackexchange.com were little bit more verbose giving me a slight chance to make it right before silently deleting my account. I do really feel it was unfair decision. And I do hope the referenced rule was not just an excuse to get rid of another successful account that potentially one day could catch up and compete with their own reputations and rankings.

Culpa ubi non est, nec poena esse debet.

Systems without fair court where accused ones have a chance to appeal are doomed to all the flows of totalitarian regimes. I do like and do believe Stackexchange.com communities are really useful resources, however I do not think empowering its moderators with roles of judges and executioners at the same time serves the best interests of the general public and the system itself. So either you, those who have power around here, will start changing things or keep pushing away users with good intentions like myself away.

Farewell my friends!

EDIT 4 of April 22, 2018.

I am still hanging around here, because:

  1. Drupal Answers moderators have not yet presented the full details of why they deleted my account and what was the biggest crime I did.

  2. Since yesterday I've learned there are actual team accounts like, for example, this one https://stackoverflow.com/users/380926/devexpress-team, which were never deleted. Unlike that account mine was in fact an individual account with just an unfortunate description. So could decision to delete an account be based just on a description without communicating with user, giving them a slight chance to survive?

  3. Only yesterday I've learned my brother wanted to support my account and upvoted my posts several times. He swears it was only about 4 or 5 times and he did because my answers were right ones. And I am thinking could his actions also contribute to this mess? But then why moderators decided to punish not his, but my account? How on earth someone upvoted by another user can be responsible for actions of the others?

  4. Per suggestions below I've sent a request to investigate this via Contact Us and really need to hear conclusive verdict before taking off forever. However I still have a hope the justice will prevail and my account will be re-instated or somehow re-built. I do believe it is technically possible, because as far as I can tell all the posts are there.

And to make it easy if someone will want to read through my posts here are some links. Tell me I was not being helpful to users and I was a bad user who should be kept away.

Strange enough that while trying to collect all my posts I could not find some of them. I do clearly remember posting and having more accepted answers, because I do keep all the code I worked to help other users locally. So probably some answers also got deleted.

For example, I coded a small module and posted it as an answer to this question How to grant referenced user access to Profile page and it is not there anymore.

So why that answer was deleted is another mystery for me. I start having a feeling that someone just didn't like my activity and was looking for excuse to get rid of my account.

EDIT #5 on April 23, 2018:

@kiamlaluno has added today:

We don't discuss in public such details, but the votes you got from the other account were enough to be automatically reversed from the system. Trust me or not, it doesn't happen for 5 up-votes. Also, I didn't say which moderator deleted the account. I would be glad if you would stop writing my name. Thank you. – kiamlaluno 56 mins ago

Here is my immediate reaction to his response:

@kiamlaluno, thanks for the update, but do you really want to say that if someone wants to kill another account then all it takes for him to upvote the victim for 5 times?! It simply does not make sense. Punish voting account, but why punish the victim account whom someone else is disservicing?! – AltaGrade just now edit

I really do not mind the details of this case discussed publicly! I don't have anything to hide. The secrecy you are building on this could imply I indeed did something nasty. And I am absolutely sure I did not and that the deletion of my account was something totally wrong. Common, guys, spill it out! Why to hide the details if I did something really wrong - prove to public that you were righteous!

Just think everybody: if someone decided to support a new account and did several upvotes, then however his intentions were right or wrong such person's account must be scrutinized, not the targeted account as it is a victim here. Getting undesired upvotes and getting deleted without any notice whatsoever.

Investigating my case will prove upvotes made tiny part of my reputation points collected by trying really hard for the whole month helping people with their problems and offering accepted solutions! But the big question to me is will anyone bother to really investigate this?! Do I stand any chance to get the justice here or I am waiting in vain?! Will SE mods do something about this kind of arbitrariness of moderators?!

EDIT 6: Apr 24, 2018

Every day things keep changing and I am getting more and more convinced no justice will be served here.

  1. According to @kiamlaluno's confirmation my account was initially deleted for it had unfortunate description that it was a team account. However, after two days of asking questions and learning the true facts piece by piece, the accents has now shifted to something else:

@user202729 From my side, I will never publicly say this user was a sock-puppet of that user, this user was involved in a ring-vote, or this user and that user were really the same person. – kiamlaluno 10 hours ago

At this point I feel indeed helpless as the moderator's words and accusations weigh more than whatever I say. And apparently nobody will want to understand they are based on pure guestimations.

I am indeed a new SE user and that's exactly why I didn't know some easy rule like you could not have a team account. All I was doing is helping users with their questions. I did not ring-vote! If someone else did something wrong then why I should be kept accountable?!

If decisions on SE portals are based on moderator's personal conclusions, then the question WHY I WAS NOT PROPERLY NOTIFIED remains?! How on earth I was supposed to know why my account was deleted? Why it takes so much efforts to learn true reasons behind moderators actions?! Don't you see if users learn their accounts got deleted because some moderator decided so, then maybe they would never go to seek truth?! Not knowing for why you got deleted is the real problem here!

  1. Another sudden change:

@user202729 I am just saying what I saw. The account used for this question joined Drupal Answers 3 days ago, which means it's not the original account the OP is talking about. The new account has not been suspended by any site moderator. – kiamlaluno 10 hours ago

That's simply not true. Up until today I the following notice was there:

This account is temporarily suspended for rule violations. The suspension period ends on May 4 at 7:45.

However, today it is not. So someone decided to unsuspend my account. But that belated pity is not useful at all as there is no slight wish to continue to be around here let alone to use it. I am not seeking for half-baked belated actions. I'd like to hear SE mods conclusive decision and then be off.

At this point I just wonder will they go easy way staying by an obvious mistake done in this case and so get rid of me or will they indeed investigate my case to at least admit things should've done bit differently here and try to keep me around?

God knows I would like to continue to be helping Drupal users in solving their problems, but decency requires not to eat this kind of mis-treatment to my account.

migrated from meta.stackoverflow.com Apr 20 '18 at 17:30

This question came from our discussion, support, and feature requests site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

  • 5
    Please don't deface your posts this way. It's still useful to provide information and context to the answers. If you don't want to "leave traces", you can request the post to be disassociated from your account. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/96732/398063 – Jenayah May 3 at 9:38
20

What probably happened here is that your original account (with enough reputation to qualify for the association bonus on other sites) has been suspended for whatever reason. You got an email about this, but it could be on an email account you never use anymore, or it ended up in your spam folder. You also got an inbox notification. Then, your Drupal account was deleted (by yourself or by a resident moderator), which probably canceled the inbox notification. Later on you decided to recreate it (hence it only has one badge and no associated posts). To prevent it from being so easy getting around a ban, the account is automatically suspended with just a 'generic' message about rule violations, in this case the creation of another account with the purpose of circumventing a ban.


I'm not sure what you have done to get the original ban, but note that your profile says

This is a team account for several Drupal developers.

This is against the terms of service, which state

Subscriber certifies to Stack Exchange that Subscriber is an individual (i.e., not a corporate entity) at least 13 years of age.

A team is not an individual.

Even if it's not allowed, it's often 'gedoogd' by the community, but I can imagine that accounts like these are examined more often and more thorough for suspicious voting.

15

I looked into this and discovered your previous account was deleted in a way that would automatically suspend any new accounts you create. Usually this method is reserved for mindless spammers and trolls. Since that did not seem to be the case, I've unsuspended your account. I can also restore posts from the old account to the new one. I'm sorry I didn't act sooner. I was, um, a bit distracted lately.

I've contacted the moderator privately about the issue of deleting the account. The Terms of Service do stipulate accounts should not be "a corporate entity", but there's no particular urgency in deleting accounts for that reason. I would expect a courtesy moderator message to give the holder(s) of such accounts a chance to correct the problem and prevent any confusion.

It turns out there is some extra complications that I was not aware of when I answered. I won't go into detail about what they are out of respect for user privacy. It also turns out that the moderator tools have a bit of guidance that, unfortunately, is not entirely clear. This led the moderator to make a choice we didn't really intend. In the spirit of fixing things twice, I'm going to look at how the guidance could be improved.

  • "in a way that would automatically suspend any new accounts you create" - this means destroyed, right? Unless there is another option I'm not aware of? – ShaWiz May 2 '18 at 8:05
  • @ShadowWizard I think we all need to stop speculating out-loud what happened here, as there is a ton of misinformation in the comments which made things worse. Unfortunately, resolving things things like this take time, especially when the CM team is brought in to intervene (site mods typically step away when this happens). I can say for certain, though, that no accounts referenced in this question were destroyed by a site mod. – mpdonadio May 2 '18 at 14:14
  • @ShadowWizard: Not exactly. There's some nuance (i.e., over-complication) in the moderator tools. There are several deletion reasons to chose from and some have extra effects that are not clearly marked. There's a little bit of DWIM going on here and that's got pitfalls when people have different expectations. – Jon Ericson May 2 '18 at 18:12
  • Thanks @Jon. Sorry for all the hassle I might have caused, I'm stepping away from this one, and glad it got sorted out. :) – ShaWiz May 2 '18 at 18:17
  • Dear Jon, I thank you very much for your fair consideration of this issue and the decision to re-instate my account. I would love to return to using Drupal Answers and do my best to help users with their questions and issues. I will correct the description of my profile account. And to everybody: I am sorry to be too verbose on my post and comments, I hope you, guys, understand that I was trying to provide as much details as possible and acting out of frustration over unfair deletion of my account. – user388908 May 2 '18 at 19:46
  • @AltaGrade FWIW I think you came across fine here, if perhaps, yes, a little overly-verbose in the question as it ended up. You can chalk this whole thing up to a combination of coincidences which would only happen once in a blue moon; not that you've suggested otherwise, but there was never anything malicious about any of the actions that were taken. You are very, very welcome to resume your contributions to Drupal Answers and I hope you come back soon :) – Clive May 3 '18 at 11:12
  • @Clive, thank you for your welcoming me back, I will try to start again some day though frankly saying after all happened to my account I don't fee as enthusiastic as before. – user388908 May 6 '18 at 8:30
  • Jon, it appears my account was stripped off some ~200 reputation points. I understand some of them could be subtracted because my brother foolishly decided to support me with votes, however I do remember perfectly well I had some more accepted answers with absolutely legitimate points. And I wonder would it be possible for you to take closer look at missing points? – user388908 May 6 '18 at 8:35
  • Another inconsistency: if you look at the screenshot of my profile attached above I had 14 different badges, including the rarest silver Enthusiast badge, because I was providing my help to SE users every single 30-days in a row. Whatever happened that one was earned by me. So I wonder if you can re-instate my account in full and not partially like it is now with only 6 badges and stripped of reputation points? – user388908 May 6 '18 at 8:39
  • @AltaGrade I check out your 10 top posts in the old account, you seem to lose about 5-6 upvotes (about 50-60 reputation, a lot). There are some unaccepted answer (1 2), I don't know why, perhaps ask the OP to reaccept it? – user202729 May 11 '18 at 2:02
  • About the badges... the restore is manual, not automatic. Perhaps @JonEricson just forgot to copy the badges over. – user202729 May 11 '18 at 2:03
  • @user202729, thanks! I will to see if JonEricson can re-instate budges, especially the rarest one. – user388908 May 13 '18 at 12:58
  • Hi Jon, sorry for nagging this again, but could you please elaborate on if it's possible to re-instate my badges, especially the rarest, silver Enthusiast badge, which I did earn fairly? – user388908 May 26 '18 at 10:19
  • 1
    @AltaGrade: I'm sorry, but we don't award badges manually. – Jon Ericson May 30 '18 at 19:18
  • 2
    @AltaGrade: It's been more than 30 days, so you should have been able to earn the badge naturally. It looks like you've only visited the site 19 times in the last three months. Kinda feels like this isn't about the badge? – Jon Ericson Aug 8 '18 at 22:30
11

A reason is always provided for a suspension, even if it's from a template. It's not possible to suspend a user without selecting one, and the user is sent an email and on-site message with that reason. You should have received one from the Drupal Stack Exchange moderators explaining why you were suspended. If you can't find this email, you may be able to find a link to it in your notification inbox.

This message will also include a link that allows you to send a reply to the moderators, if you wish to dispute the penalty.

  • 8
    There's one possibility where they might not have received such a warning, and that's if the account was destroyed as a spammer, troll, or someone else who is no longer welcome to use the site. This results in deletion of the account and an automatic suspension that is applied if the account is recreated with the same credentials as before. – Brad Larson Apr 20 '18 at 17:42
  • 2
    It seems very likely that @BradLarson is correct given the moderation history for this user. They've only been a member for a couple of hours, and all actions taken against them were by Community, no human mod involvement. Can't comment on any previous incarnation of the account as the data doesn't seem to be around any more – Clive Apr 20 '18 at 19:03
  • I swear I did not receive anything to my mail, nor I have any explanatory message on meta.stackexchange.com/topbar/inbox – user388908 Apr 21 '18 at 0:22

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