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What can I do to lift or reduce a suspension? contains good advice for appealing manually-imposed moderator suspensions, which always have a moderator message attached to them that the user can reply to.

However, this FAQ doesn't address how to appeal the automatic 365-day suspension imposed when a moderator deletes or destroys the account for spam or user conduct. This automatic suspension doesn't carry a moderator message with it, and so there's no way to contact the site's moderators and appeal it as per the above FAQ.

How is one supposed to appeal the suspension that is imposed when their account is deleted using one of the above options, or the removal of their account in such a manner? (They can't post on the per-site meta, and so such users often come here, where their questions are generally marked off-topic as site-specific.)

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    How about: You do not appeal? What do you want to appeal about? Suppose there is an appeal and it is granted, then what? Why can't such users just wait out the suspension? Why the rush?
    – rene
    Oct 18, 2020 at 7:14
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    @rene As I said in my post, simply waiting it out may not be an option if the account has content that is now no longer attached to an account as a result of its deletion. This question is asking how to appeal the removal too, not merely the suspension. That content needs to be reattributed to their new account if they want to gain rep from it. Oct 18, 2020 at 7:17
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    If an account was removed wrongly, the user would need staff help anyway... Oct 18, 2020 at 7:23
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    @JourneymanGeek As I said, staff may simply ignore the request as they may simply think it's a simple suspension appeal, and when clicking through the account they see that the suspension is expired or really short and expiring soon. A similar thing to when a moderator on a large site with lots of flags declines a flag to close a question as "use normal close votes" without seeing that it has a bounty on it (even though the flagger may have specified that). Oct 18, 2020 at 7:25
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    I'm not sure what else can be done. Oct 18, 2020 at 7:26
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    Additionally, suspensions prevent the user from nominating in elections on all sites for an entire year, and cause the system to recommend longer-than-normal suspensions to moderators. Oct 18, 2020 at 7:27
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    Waiting is always an option. Always. And the only reason when reattribution can be considered is if the rule violation didn't take place. Then we have a bigger problem because a moderator either didn't use their powers correctly or the system presented them inaccurate info causing them to screw up.
    – rene
    Oct 18, 2020 at 7:30
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    suspensions prevent the user from nominating in elections on all sites for an entire year and rightfully so.
    – rene
    Oct 18, 2020 at 7:31
  • To note, a mod cant destroy easilly an account with high reputation, such destroy case is almost always account with less than 30/20 rep with no positive activities. Such account would appeal?
    – yagmoth555
    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:15
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    Another note, I rarely mod message to suspend, it’s a low volume, but I possibly destroy account 2,3 time per days, more on spam day. To give those account the same appeal process than a normal user might give mod a big load
    – yagmoth555
    Oct 18, 2020 at 11:19
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    Your statements in your question and comments are conflating at least 2 different circumstances, which makes your question unclear. The circumstances which you are conflating are: A) User's post was deleted as spam or R/A: IP is blocked and user has question and answer bans; and B) user's account is deleted or destroyed: account is gone; there is no recovery of the account by moderators; recovery requires contacting SE (state (A) may also apply wrt. the IP address); and (C) user has been in state (B), has re-created their account and remainder of automatic suspension has been applied.
    – Makyen
    Oct 18, 2020 at 23:19
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    @Makyen I don't see how this refers to A, but I do see that B and C may be confusing. The thing is, strictly speaking, automatic suspensions are applied immediately when an account is deleted, and then when recreated, that automatic suspension is reinstated (not newly applied) by the same system that reinstates manual suspensions on recreated accounts. It gets confusing because users never see the first suspension application because their account is immediately removed at the same time and there's no message sent, but the actual suspension is levied upon account removal. Oct 18, 2020 at 23:26
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    Your question takes the statements in the linked answer and applies them to a different situation/request where they are inapplicable. You seem to be assuming the CMs make no distinction between a request to review just a suspension and a request which includes asking to either review the deletion of an account or associate existing posts with a new account.Do you really think the CMs don't differentiate between such requests? Frankly, it sounds like you've based this whole question on an assumption that the CMs are incompetent, or worse, which is a bit insulting, IMO.
    – Makyen
    Oct 19, 2020 at 4:19
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    @Makyen What I'm saying is, due to the way users tend to phrase these requests (reading at first like a simple suspension appeal, as they don't know how the system imposes automatic suspensions), it's possible that the support team (which gets a large backlog of tickets) may mistakenly take it as just that and not take any action (as the suspension has already expired or is expiring very soon). There's nothing insulting about that; it's as innocent an error as declining a flag to close a bountied question on SO as "use normal votes" even though the flagger specified that it has a bounty. Oct 19, 2020 at 5:25
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    If that happens, the only other way to appeal the suspension is by replying to a moderator message. But in the case of automatic suspensions, there is no mod message to reply to, which leaves such users in a case where they're shut out of all appeal methods. Oct 19, 2020 at 5:28

1 Answer 1

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I think that it is definitely worth to cover this case in the FAQ, seeing there are people that come to ask about this here on MSE. It would be good to have this included in the FAQ, so it can be used as a duplicate target. Which is more helpful then just closing such question as off-topic.

We also should include this as people are seeking for "justice" when they feel they have been banned incorrectly. It would only be fair to offer them an option for appeal.

What should be in the FAQ

I think the comment section here perfectly captures what should be in the FAQ:

  • A description in which cases a suspension like this is encountered (spam, sock puppetry)
  • Contacting staff is the only appeal option
    • Such message is only useful when there is valuable content to be re-attributed to your account
    • In other cases it takes too long for staff to act upon such message. The ban expires faster. (Expectation management is crucial in this case)

With suspension periods changed from 14 to 365 days, as of november 2022, the last point is no longer relevant (hopefully).

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    This seems like a great idea. Also, it should specify to clearly phrase a contact request to indicate first that the account was removed and that staff attention is needed to reattribute posts, so it doesn't initially come across as a simple suspension appeal. Oct 19, 2020 at 19:57
  • Nice catch on that edit @SonictheMaskedWerehog, missed that one. Yeah, it needs to be clear in the mod message that that is the case, otherwise it most likely gets thrown on the pile of useless requests.
    – Luuklag
    Oct 19, 2020 at 20:04
  • The period was lengthened from 14 days to 365 days today, so I think the bottom of your bullet is no longer accurate. Oct 31, 2022 at 23:20
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog I sure do hope thats going to be the case.
    – Luuklag
    Nov 1, 2022 at 5:08

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