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From a FAQ answer here on Meta (emphasis mine):

When an account is suspended

[...] The user page will have a visual reminder that the account is in timed suspension. It will also include a brief summary explaining the reason for the suspension.

  • Note that the public "reason" shown for the suspension is based on the moderator message template that the suspending moderator decides to use, so that reason may not necessarily correspond to the actual reason the account was suspended. In particular, if the moderator decides to start from a blank template, it will show as "for rule violations", so seeing that reason doesn't necessarily mean that the user has violated a specific, codified rule.

Would it be possible to fix these templates so that the wrong reason is not displayed? Documenting "the displayed reason is wrong" in a FAQ instead of fixing the issue seems bad practice.

A comment by a SE moderator @Glorfindel on Meta.MO suggests instead that the reasons are accurate and the FAQ is wrong; I am not able to check this because I don't have the power to suspend anyone. In that case, of course, it's the documentation that should be fixed.

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  • If someone is suspended for something that isn’t a rule violation, I’d be curious to know what it is. It’s not saying it’s wrong, it’s saying it may not be as specific as if a template was used... and, honestly, I’m not sure why we’re trying to be specific at all. – Catija ModStaff May 10 '20 at 13:05
  • @Catija If someone is suspended for something that isn’t a rule violation, I’d be curious to know what it is. I understand; I'd be curious, too, but asking the reasons behind suspensions is against SE's policy. – Federico Poloni May 10 '20 at 13:08
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    I mean... the reason someone was suspended is between that person and the mods. We could make all the banners just say “this account is suspended” and leave it at that. There’s little reason to try and be more detailed. – Catija ModStaff May 10 '20 at 13:10
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    @Catija So why publishing a reason at all if the FAQ say "that reason may or may not be correct"? This gives a misleading impression of transparency. – Federico Poloni May 10 '20 at 13:14
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    FYI, the reason why we have public reasons for suspensions is here: meta.stackexchange.com/q/23385/377214 – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog May 10 '20 at 15:23
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This doesn't seem necessary to me. The short reason that's displayed if we write a message based on one of the templates is accurate, so there's no need to change that. If we write a custom message not based on a template, there's a bunch of things it could be about that aren't necessarily bad things. That said, if we're also suspending for something, there has been a rule violation. It's not necessarily a specific written rule, but that user has done something that they've been told not to do, and "rule violations" seems to be a decent summary of that without giving too much detail.

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  • So you are saying that the reasons are OK and it's the FAQ that needs to be changed? – Federico Poloni May 10 '20 at 12:17
  • @FedericoPoloni Why should the FAQ be changed? It describes correctly exactly what happens - if no template is selected, the displayed summary is "for rule violations". I don't think that's a problem because of what I've said in this answer. – ArtOfCode May 10 '20 at 12:19
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    The part where it says "that reason may not necessarily correspond to the actual reason the account was suspended" is not correct. – Federico Poloni May 10 '20 at 12:22
  • (In retrospect, it would make sense to highlight that sentence, too --- I will edit my Q.) – Federico Poloni May 10 '20 at 12:25

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