Suspended users cannot seem to follow/unfollow posts. Even the error message shown is wrong:

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(Suspended users cannot vote)

After clicking the 'follow' link under the post, it changes to 'following' (and vice versa) along with the error popup but after refreshing the page the follow status goes back to the original setting.

Source: personal experience :(

  • 12
    While some may argue about the utility of suspended users being able to follow posts, I don't see any argument against them being able to unfollow posts. Maybe they've followed a post that is generating a lot of notifications, and those aren't relevant to them while they're suspended (since they can't act on them), but there's no way for them to disable those notifications. There's also no harm one can do in the simple act of (un)following, as it doesn't change anything anywhere, and follower lists are kept private. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:28
  • 9
    Technically, the error message isn’t wrong; following is a special type of vote, internally. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 2:41
  • 3
    I personally believe that suspended users should be able to follow and unfollow questions. For example, a suspended user may find a question interesting and use the follow feature to be notified when there is an answer available. I see no reason to disable this, just because a user is suspended for whatever reason, as I cannot think of any way to abuse this feature through some malicious intent.
    – MechMK1
    Commented May 30, 2022 at 10:49

2 Answers 2


The error message has been changed to "Suspended users cannot follow or unfollow posts.". No change in the repercussions of being suspended at this time when it comes to following/unfollowing.

did something not good
suspended and click follow
clearer message now

  • 3
    Why was it decided to continue not allowing suspended users to follow or unfollow posts? Is it simply technical constraints, or is there a philosophical reason why they shouldn't be allowed to do so? As I commented on the question, there is definitely utility in allowing them to unfollow posts at least. Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 7:39
  • 5
    Well I think the completed tag is wrong, as what has been done is not what the bug report is about. The OP meant to allow suspended user to follow/unfollow, not to change the wording. I personally agree with the change, it's just not what the bug report asked about. Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 7:48
  • this looks like a case to combine completed and declined status, just like it was done in a bunch of other prior posts @ShadowWizardSaysNoMoreWar
    – gnat
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 12:24
  • 2
    @gnat better than nothing, but would still be wrong. Ideally, there would be separate feature request to change wording, that would be marked completed, and the one here rejected. (Or just without status if it's not really rejected) Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 12:27
  • Adding extra little arbitrary punishments like stopping suspended users following posts also incentivises them to circumvent the suspension with a new account, which is not desirable.
    – Jess
    Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 13:19
  • @Jess Another example of such an arbitrary punishment, where such users lose their 200-rep privilege to hide ads. You could argue that the user loses all privileges during a suspension and the ability to hide ads is one of them, but the profile setting to opt out of the privilege says to only do so if one finds the ads helpful/is going to click on them (which implies they're being paid per click and not per view). Someone who previously hasn't opted out isn't likely to click on the ads anyway, which wastes SE's bandwidth. Commented Jun 15, 2022 at 8:00

The incorrect/confusing text was fixed, so this has been marked .

In terms of the conversation in the comments around allowing suspended users to follow or unfollow posts, that would indeed be a separate feature request because it's not a bug and is operating as intended.

The Community Team reviewed the comments around that, and determined that reviewing what actions suspended users can/can't take is a bigger issue. In order to properly dig into that, we would need to review all actions that suspended users currently can/can't take and see if there is a good rationale for making any changes there. This is something we've put on our backburner, but isn't an initiative that we are planning on focusing on in the near future.

  • 2
    Thanks for the reply, I personally don't think it's worth spending much time on suspended users, overall. Lack of ability to perform actions is just part of the punishment. Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 14:13

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