The system-recommended penalties for repeatedly-occurring serious rule violations on Stack Exchange are:

  1. Written warning

  2. 7-day suspension

  3. 30-day suspension

  4. 365-day suspension

What comes after the 365-day suspension? Account deletion? Network-wide suspension? What?

3 Answers 3


That depends, on a lot of factors. You already noted that these are the recommended suspension lengths; ♦ moderators can deviate from them and issue shorter suspensions, or go for the maximum length the first or second time already:

Depending on the severity of the problem behavior — and at the complete discretion of the moderator — your account will be placed in timed suspension for anywhere from 1 to 365 days.

(source: A Day in the Penalty Box)

People can change a lot in a year, which is why longer suspensions are rare. (Almost) everybody deserves a second/third/fourth chance.

Generally speaking, people's main accounts are not deleted (but sockpuppets might be); it's easier to keep track of them that way. A network-wide suspension can only be issued by Community Managers and are reserved for the most egregious cases.

  • (Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/333355/…)
    – user447378
    Sep 13, 2019 at 4:53
  • So... apparently, there are plenty of cases where the 4th suspension is shorter than the 3rd (Ex. 365 for 3rd but only 7 for 4th), and this should be normal. Right?
    – user447378
    Sep 29, 2019 at 13:04
  • 4
    @MaikaSakuranomiya Are there plenty of cases? Yes. Does that make it normal? No. It's still up to the moderator.
    – Mast
    Nov 22, 2019 at 6:20

I'll add a bit about network-wide suspensions as the other answer explains very well about per-site suspensions.

Network-wide suspensions are issued only when the person violates the rules on more than one site. One might be a total troll on one site and get suspended there consecutively for a year at a time, while being a perfect legit user on other sites.

Also, even when network-wide suspension is issued, it's not a dead end for the user: moderator can lift the suspension of the user per-site. It's rare, but it happens.


More of an addendum:

Account deletion?

Isn't an option at all for "real" accounts. You provided your content here, and SE Inc. can't just come in and unilaterally deny you access to your content/profile information.

And because of that, you will find a few users here or there with multi year suspensions.

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