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There is a system-recommended procedure regarding suspensions on the network:

  1. Written warning
  2. 7-day suspension
  3. 30-day suspension
  4. 365-day suspension

For example, on Music SE, this has been happening to me: (I gotta reveal this to the public here... please don't make fun of me.)

  1. On Dec 8, 2018, I have plagiarized another user's content to my own post. The plagiarized content was removed, and a moderator has warned me about this:

    Stage 1

  2. On Jan 6, 2019, I was sockpuppet upvoting on my own posts. Eventually, I got caught and had received a 7-day suspension, and the sockpuppet account was removed.

    Stage 2

  3. On Apr 24, 2019, I received a 30-day suspension due to some edit abuses.

    Stage 3

  4. On Aug 16, 2019, another series of edit abuses led me to a 365-day suspension which is currently still in effect.

    Stage 4

How do moderators cast timed suspension penalties to users like this?

  • 3
    Are you asking about the decision-making process for how moderators decide when and for how long to issue a suspension, or are you asking for the technical process (e.g. what moderators click on)? – Robert Columbia Nov 2 '19 at 14:52
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    There is a pattern of behavior here that makes me uncomfortable. – anonymous Nov 2 '19 at 18:00
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    Maybe you should stop using sockpuppets. Why would you cheat to get fake internet points? On SE you only really need 125 to get full upvote/downvote/comment privileges. After I got that I stopped caring as much. – SurpriseDog Nov 2 '19 at 18:25
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    Out of interest, why do you keep doing it? – marcellothearcane Nov 2 '19 at 18:43
  • @marcellothearcane since OP failed to reply, I'll share my guess based on common sense: the thrill of doing something forbidden. – Shadow Keeps Social Distance Nov 17 '19 at 12:45
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There's a recommended escalation on suspensions (7/30/365) depending on how many times someone's suspended.

This is totally worth a read

Once you're done.

Lets consider - there's a pattern of different things

  • On Dec 8, 2018, I have plagiarized another user's content to my own post. The plagiarized content was removed, and a moderator has warned me about this:

we have a minor thing that we could fix with a reminder. Hopefully you go "Oh! You don't do that here"

  • On 1/6/19, I was sockpuppet upvoting on my own posts. Eventually, I got caught and had received a 7-day suspension, and the sockpuppet account was removed,

    That's a serious issue. For a first offence, that's what we usually start with.

  • and then on 4/3/19, I've received another 7-day suspension for low quality over time.

    This is a relatively minor issue, and one that might get you a question ban if you weren't suspended and sorted things out. Its one of the situations where if mods miss it, the result is an automated question ban. That would be more annoying.

On 4/24/19, I received a 30-day suspension due to some edit abuses.

Smells like you missed a mod message, since it refers to another mod message. And its a little more serious than "edit abuse" if you were asked to stop, and used a sock to do it. If it was a second offense as the message alludes to 30 days makes sense. And well, you already do have a pattern of socks for various things

On 7/19/19, another series of edit abuses led me to a 365-day suspension which is currently still in effect

And you did it... a third time?

Yeah, seems to make sense.

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  • 2
    Boy! That jump from 30 to 365 days is cosmic. – Jeff Darwood Nov 2 '19 at 16:20
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    @JeffDarwood: I don't recall ever going straight from 30 days to 365 days unless the behavior was especially severe. In the last couple of years of my tenure as a mod I didn't use suspensions at all, because the system has gotten very good at temp-banning people doing bad things, and because other mods are far better at identifying socks. – user102937 Nov 2 '19 at 16:27
  • @JeffDarwood - Well... the general process is Warningㅣ7ㅣ30ㅣ365. – user447378 Nov 2 '19 at 16:39
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    @RobertHarvey yeah, I guess you were the good cop. Are you (moderators) like gods and entitled to inflict such a death-penalty single-handedly or are more than two eyes required - you know like the famous two officer self-destruction switch? In case you have the god-mode on, are other moderators reviewing this decision later or has the convict any chance for defence or even lowering his imprisonment? – Jeff Darwood Nov 2 '19 at 16:47
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    @JeffDarwood: It's a unilateral decision (one mod), but all of the other mods get copied on the suspension. – user102937 Nov 2 '19 at 16:48
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    @JeffDarwood: And yes. From time to time, someone offers a reasonable defense and I've lowered the penalty. – user102937 Nov 2 '19 at 17:49
  • There have been cases where moderators have given 30-day suspensions without first giving a 7-day suspension. When is that done? – Sonic the Stay-Home Hedgehog Nov 3 '19 at 3:10
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    If it's needed. – Journeyman Geek Nov 3 '19 at 3:12
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    @MaikaSakuranomiya fyi, just to state it, after 365 days usually it’s 3 or 5 years, depending on the mod, or another 365d if lucky – yagmoth555 Nov 3 '19 at 3:21
  • @JourneymanGeek Surely the intent of the question is to ask when and how it is determined to be needed? – SolveIt Nov 3 '19 at 4:27
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    @SolveIt suspensions are given on a as needed basis. While there's a recommended length, we might give one day suspensions (say to mitigate someone self deleting posts) or 365 (if a user we can't/don't want to delete is attacking another user personally) . Since every mod and the CM team is informed of suspensions - there's often an informal/unofficial review as well as the option to appeal via the reply (that nearly never happens cause most folks are already overwrought) or CM message (which happens sometimes, and we don't always regret it) . There's no formula. If there was they wouldn't – Journeyman Geek Nov 3 '19 at 5:11
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    need us. So... "If its needed" is pretty much all there is to it – Journeyman Geek Nov 3 '19 at 5:11
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    Just to correct what yagmoth555 said: Mods can only suspend folks for a maximum of one year at a time, so anything longer than that is coming from a CM - and that's indicative of serious problems. I've given folks year-long suspensions after they've come back from another year-long suspension, but that's been after they've returned and continued said problematic behavior with no signs of improvement. But if someone gets 2, or 3, or 5 or more years at a time - well, they've almost certainly already had a year-long suspension, and they're not improving. – HDE 226868 Nov 3 '19 at 5:23
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    For clarity as a mod on music SE, the user received a 180 suspension on 7/19/19. The user then did the same exact anonymous edits and received a new 365 day suspension on 8/16/19. – Dom Nov 10 '19 at 6:00
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I would rather say while following the written guidance (or "procedure" if you'd like), moderators have the privilege to determine the severity of offense and to choose whether to increase penalty level. Generally speaking, repeated offense of the same category would be considered more severe, and are more likely to result in mods' decision to issue an extended suspension.

Honestly, I'm not surprised that the mods escalated your suspension duration for every other offense, because you shouldn't do B after being penalized from doing A, but rather learn that all of A, B, C... are prohibited and refrain from committing any of them.

What you should learn from the very first warning is that rule violations are taken seriously, and you should have learned about other rules as well, not just telling yourself "OK this time I learned this but not that". You can't commit every kind of crime just to learn that each of them is prohibited. You're supposed to review yourself at a higher level than the exact fault you've done.

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