The dupe candidate deals about suspensions in general, the essential part of this question is the increase of the network-wide suspension length from 10 years to 30. The answer to the question has nothing about this, except that network-wide suspensions are longer than 1 year.

Digging the SEDE, I've found something interesting.

Well... 2046 won't be tomorrow, I am not sure I will live at the time.

As far I know:

  1. Mods can give at most 1 year, and only for their site,
  2. CMs can give at most 10 years, network-wide,
  3. In the database, 9999-12-31 is last possible date, but it would require direct SQL to set up.

But Hutchinson got around 30 years. It falls into (3).

How is it possible? What could have he committed?

Maybe the system has changed, and even a >10year network-wide suspension is already possible?

Update (29-7-2018): our current record holder is @RonMaimon. His "temporary" suspension will expire roughly as Chernobyl becomes habitable again.

  • 5
    Possible duplicate of How long can a temporary suspension be? – Mark Kirby May 18 '18 at 20:03
  • 1
    @MarkKirby Not a dupe, that question is only about the mod suspensions (being at most 1 year, for a single site). In this question, the much longer things are an essential part. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:04
  • 1
    The answer by Tim Post has a whole section on > 1 year suspensions – Mark Kirby May 18 '18 at 20:07
  • 1
    @MarkKirby Yes, it is true, but this section in the answer, but there is nothing about the typical length of the network-wide suspensions in the post. An essencial part of this question is the seemingly increase of the length from 10 years to 30. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:12
  • 1
    @rene Uhm :-) I think somebody could drop a query to the DB, although querying directly a productive DB is not very conform in such a system. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:14
  • 1
    @Catija We commoners have no way to know the starting timestamp of the suspension. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:18
  • 1
    Well, you can look at his account and see it was more recently used than two years ago... so it's definitely not "more than 30 years". – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:18
  • 1
    @Catija Right. The difference between his last access date and suspension expiration is 884711090 seconds. It is roughly 28 years and 1 month. Yet more roughly, 30 years. :-) – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:52
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 Yes. I think the logic behind could be that if we would have such "written criminal law", then we could hack it. The problem is with that, that it defends the powerful ones, against the commoners. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:55
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 I think the correct way to handle this problem is to make the "written law" unhackable and not the summary executions. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:59
  • 2
    @yagmoth555 A warningless 1 year is extreme, I would be surprised if even the SF mods would do this. Warningless some days, I think it is not nice, but it expires quickly. Btw, the main problem with the bans is that it is mainly the mods decision and if they want to exterminate you, they have only watch carefully until they find a reason. And then they overweight this reason. It is clearly visible, although unprovable, if site mods are hunting for you. I've experienced also as a mod of another site used a very specific terminology against me on an MSE discussion, what I've got from a mod, – user259412 May 18 '18 at 22:12
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 in a mod warning (together with a 1yr ban), on another site... which is quite funny, because most of my "troubles" happened with the power users of the sites, and not with the mods. Check this post, for example. Randalthor gave me essentially a "f*k you" answer, animuson gave me a very clear answer. Typically, in the pyramid, the people directly above you are the most dangerous and most hostile. And the very funny thing that I learned this all only because I wanted to use, and later to fix the site(s). – user259412 May 18 '18 at 22:14
  • 1
    @yagmoth555 These sites, on a psychological, sociological side, are mainly evil. Not all, typically the small sites, and the sites whose topic is unsuitable to make money, are much better. But they are a very good way to learn a lot, while you even enjoy it. And to collect rep, to make a quite good SE profil, yes also this is very enjoyable. And you can also help others - by giving them good answers, and by trying to defend them with your votes, and on the meta. These are funny, useful, good things. Fighting the high rep evil guys, sometimes with diamonds on the internet, it is not. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 22:27
  • 3
    "Fighting the high rep evil guys, sometimes with diamonds on the internet, it is not." Dude. Not cool :( – Journeyman Geek May 19 '18 at 9:18
  • 2
    Someone said the maximum suspension is 9999 days. It's up to you to believe or not :) – Meta Andrew T. May 19 '18 at 10:01

The network-wide suspension tool is not limited by time in any way (outside of some absurdly large number that just throws an internal server error). You see us use 10 years most of the time because it's really easy to take 365 and add a zero to the end of it. That's really all the story there is to why 10 years is normally used.

In reality, it can be any arbitrary number that the person suspending decided to type into the box.


CMs can give at most 10 years, network-wide

citation-needed. I've never heard of any such limitation on the power of CMs.

How is it possible? What could have he committed?

Probably it's none of your business. Reasons for suspensions (a.k.a. dirty laundry) aren't usually aired publicly unless it's something that's already public or at the request of the suspended user.

even a >10year suspension is already possible?


  • I didn't say the 10 years for sure ("as far I know"). Of course I could hunt some references, but I think in this scenario it is not needed. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:03
  • @peterh Does it matter? Clearly a >10-year suspension is possible. And the 1-year restriction for mod suspensions still applies. So by logical elimination, it must be possible for CMs to suspend for >10 years. – Rand al'Thor May 18 '18 at 20:04
  • In the case of the CMs, having contact to the team, most likely they can ask somebody for an update query to the productive DB containing even '9999-12-31'. But the typical network-wide suspensions were around 10 years until now. It is a significant change. The cause of this induvidual suspension may be not my business, but this increase in the network-wide suspension length may be. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:06
  • 3
    Probably it's none of your business. -> Rude and unnecessary. – S. Tarık Çetin May 18 '18 at 20:15
  • 10
    @S.TarıkÇetin Not really. That's actually pretty much the case whenever someone's suspended. It's never anyone's business other than the staff and the person suspended. Asking why they were suspended is already out of line. – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:18
  • 3
    @S.TarıkÇetin I beg to differ. Suspensions are a private matter. It's considered impolite to discuss them while the user isn't here (i.e. is suspended). – wizzwizz4 May 18 '18 at 20:18
  • 4
    @Catija And may I ask why? We are a community here. I expect a community to have the ability to question staff activities. – S. Tarık Çetin May 18 '18 at 20:19
  • 5
    The user who is suspended may ask, absolutely. @S.TarıkÇetin But privacy is accorded to all here. We do not discuss user punishments, even with those who were "wronged", if anyone. This includes moderators... so if someone attacked me as a moderator, I can't expect a response from the CM team regarding what actions were taken. – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:21
  • @Catija But asking what is this increase from the typical 10 years is not. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:21
  • 4
    @peterh you specifically say in your question "What could have he committed?" You don't get to know that. – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:22
  • 1
    @wizzwizz4 The question asks the staff, and with the suspensions, the staff itself removed the right of the suspended user to take part in the discussion. Thus, asking the community, including the staff, what is happened, can not be impolite. Furthermore, the question is focusing to the increase of the term and not to the specific details of this suspension. – user259412 May 18 '18 at 20:24
  • 1
    I'm not saying you're going to get in trouble for the question, @peterh :) That's not my intention... only that for people who know the system, you know that usually, 10 years is the max, so 28... that's... abnormal... eye-catching... It sends a signal to the people who pay attention. – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:30
  • 1
    Would you trust me if I told you that I absolutely know that it was deserved? @peterh – Catija May 18 '18 at 20:36
  • 1
    @peterh You're truly a formidable contributor... but nothing about a suspension. – wizzwizz4 May 18 '18 at 20:44
  • 2
    @peterh "not for the user (being anonymous)" they are clearly not anonymous when running your data query exposes their user name. – DavidPostill May 18 '18 at 20:50

Practically speaking, the moment you get a decade, folks want you gone. You need to be especially bad - quite literally, the sort of folks who keep reoffending, come back with socks, harass folks in and off site...

The sort of folk we don't want here. Even deletion might not be an effective option.

So, for a 10 year suspension? Mods have tried everything. Literally everything. We've basically gone asked a CM for help.

For a 20 year suspension? Clearly, the message didn't get through, and we aren't allowed to mail users bobcats any more. Something about animal rights. Its mostly symbolic.

So, a suspension a decade or longer is as good as a "You're not welcome" mat. So whatever it is? You'd have gone through the full spectrum of mod-initated suspensions, and somehow it didn't get through. And then you went and did the same thing again.

  • What makes me quite fearful in your post, that these "keep reoffending", "Mods have tried everything. Literally everything" is exactly what the mods would say if they would want somebody to be banned forever. And the CMs won't risk a conflict with the mods for a single commoner, if he is really punishable - only his real "crimes" are overweighted. (I never had such problems on the SU, but yes on other sites) – user259412 May 19 '18 at 19:19
  • 6
    If your level of mistrust of the mods is that great, I'm sorry. There's just some folks who are literally that bad, and we really, quite literally cannot have them around."CM's won't risk a conflict" - is untrue. I've had CMs pop over to have a chat over a user unhappy with a decision I've made - and they do have a certain, gentle, oversight over mods. A request for an extended ban is certainly going to need to be backed up by some history. These longer bans are exceptional and there are users who actually had them removed after talking to CMs. – Journeyman Geek May 19 '18 at 19:33
  • My level of mistrust of the mods is not so great. My level of mistrust is so great of the mods committed some bans in at least questionable circumstances. It is highly site-dependent. Yes, there are sites where it is quite visible, of course if I could prove it, then the SE probably wouldn't allow it. In my opinion, 1 year should be enough for all the cases. – user259412 May 19 '18 at 19:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .