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This question is about this user on TeX.SE.

He is suspended network-wide for one year, from 23 April 2019 to 23 April 2020, after a conflict on TeX.SE Meta.

As I read in this article, he can't vote, ask, answer and comment.

However, looking at his activities, he can still post questions, answers and comments, like any unsuspended users.

How can it be possible? Is there a hole in the system?

This is only one particular case. I believe there are many other cases across the network.


From this answer by Jeff Atwood, he probably posted as a new user and then had his accounts merged. I think there should be something to fix this bug (this is definitely a bug), by e.g. not allowing account merging on suspended users, or only allowing account merging on any user a limited number of times. Otherwise, the suspend system clearly no longer works, and that is not something we want.

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    Why exactly would preventing a merge into a suspended account be useful? Ultimately, it really matters zero. As long as the new account is caught and prevented from participation, what does it matter how that is completed? – animuson Oct 4 at 16:53
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    @animuson Then if I am suspended, I can still do everything as if I weren't suspended. In that case, what is the suspension system for? I am able to do something "illegal" by doing a series of "legal" things, how can it be? – Someone Oct 4 at 16:54
  • No suspension system can perfectly prevent everything. – animuson Oct 4 at 16:54
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    @animuson well "Someone" just found a hole that should be looked into and fixed. We can't stop them all isn't really a great answer. – StephanS Oct 4 at 16:55
  • @StephanS There are tons of ways to get around all sorts of systems. It is impossible to cover them all. We can only catch on and resolve the problem after they do so. – animuson Oct 4 at 16:56
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    @animuson Agreed. But the suspended user needs to post something using the new account, not the suspended one. By seeing a suspended account posting, I lost all trust to the suspension system. It needs to be more strict, clearly. – Someone Oct 4 at 16:56
  • @animuson Now they have done so. We need to prevent them from doing so in the future, as the past can't change anymore. – Someone Oct 4 at 16:57
  • "We can only catch on and resolve the problem after they do so" well this is a user pointing out that somebody did it......... – StephanS Oct 4 at 16:58
  • @Someone We have done something. We merged their account to prevent them from participating with it anymore. Nothing more we can possibly do here. Will they likely create another account with another email on another IP? Probably. That cannot be prevented. You just have to accept that, and report it when they (probably will) do it again. – animuson Oct 4 at 16:58
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    @animuson My opinion is that: we should not merge the accounts. Let the suspended be as it is and the new account run normally. The user can do whatever he wants to with his new account. If he does something bad, he will have 2, or 3 suspended accounts. – Someone Oct 4 at 17:01
  • @animuson If he somehow hacks the internet and has 100 emails, he will be suspended 100 times, and he will run out of all of his emails. Obviously he doesn't have ∞ accounts, so we can do something about it. – Someone Oct 4 at 17:03
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    You seem to have very unrealistic expectations of the suspension system, and I'm not really interested in discussing that further with you. There's no bug here, everything is working as intended, and there's nothing that needs to be done about this type of situation. – animuson Oct 4 at 17:04
  • @animuson Alright. Thanks for your time – Someone Oct 4 at 17:06
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    @animuson So it is official policy to just merge the accounts and suspension length won't be increased? (just asking for a friend...) – samcarter Oct 4 at 20:38
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    @samcarter Not sure of the policy, but I've seen that when two accounts that are already suspended get merged, the resulting suspension is the sum of the remaining times on both. For instance, if one account's suspension expires in 3 days, and the other account's expires in 5 days, the merged account will have a suspension that expires in 8 days. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Oct 5 at 6:42

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