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If a user writes a chat message that is deemed a violation of the code of conduct, should they receive a chat suspension, an account suspension, or both?

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    Guidelines as to when main site suspensions for activity in chat should be issued are in A guide to moderating chat, section Mod tools – suspension. Dec 23, 2023 at 19:07
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog Thanks. In your link, I read "A user posts abusive, overtly vulgar messaging, or violates the Code of Conduct: suspend the user (optionally flag-delete the messages as well)". Does "suspend the user" mean chat suspension or account suspension? Dec 23, 2023 at 19:18
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    Only if it explicitly states "suspend on main" does it mean that. That said, be sure to read the entire section, as it does state that repeated or flagrant abuses can also result in main site suspensions. Dec 23, 2023 at 20:42
  • @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog noted, thanks Dec 23, 2023 at 21:04

3 Answers 3

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That depends on the severity of the violation and surrounding context.

In most cases, for minor violations of the Code of Conduct, a simple 30-minute chat suspension will be issued via a flag-delete. After 30 minutes, the chat account is automatically unsuspended and the user can carry on chatting as usual.

For continued violations, that suspension may be extended automatically (those 30-minute flag suspensions can stack), or a longer chat suspension can be issued manually by a moderator. A pattern of abusive behavior is likely to land you a longer suspension from a moderator.

For extremely severe violations, or continued, repeated violations of the Code of Conduct, a main-site suspension may be issued, at a moderator's discretion. This is usually reserved for cases where the user has been warned many times about their behavior in chat, including chat suspensions of varying lengths, and still continues to violate the Code of Conduct; or for cases where the violation is considered extremely severe (such as posting NSFW images in chat).

There are no hard-and-fast rules about issuing main-site suspensions for chat behavior and that decision ultimately lies with the moderation team of the relevant site(s).

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I'd note that this 'only' really would work when your chat account is parented to the site you were suspended on and unlike a chat suspension, the moderator message would explain why you were suspended. I'd also argue that chatrooms are integral parts of the sites they are attached to and we shouldn't really consider chat moderation separate from main site moderation even if chat moderation is a shared responsibility.

In the case of a COC violation - we have a user who has established that they have violated the COC and is currently active on our site. The COC violations may or may not be a pattern. Practically all these are considerations in what the actions moderators would choose to take would be.

As a moderator I'd like to be able to use the full range of tools at my disposal, to both deal with the current instance of COC violation and address the behaviour so it doesn't happen again. The chat suspension system isn't really designed for moderator messaging, or frankly more serious issues (we suspend by the hour).

A site suspension does a few things - there's a broader cost to the user for their actions than just 'you can't chat'. The user is informed clearly that they have violated the COC - with little ambiguity, and there's more clarity over the length and reasons than with a chat suspension.

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Generally speaking, nothing written in chat should lead to the main account suspension. "Worst" it should lead to is chat ban/suspension, for duration that depends on the severity of the offense.

In case the user chooses to post in the meta site about it in a way that also violates the CoC, and refuses to calm down, it might lead to the account suspension as well, but it's not direct result of the violation done in chat.

There might be edge cases, the above isn't set in stone of course, just my own opinion based on experience and common sense.

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    If a user behaves sufficiently problematic in chat nothing is off the table. Even a network-wide suspension. Chat is not a lawless area and neither is it an independent and sovereign state. Everything you do there does reflect on you as a user and might have consequences. Dec 23, 2023 at 22:17
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    You are welcome to the opinion that chat behaviour should not result in sanction on the main site, but it is important for readers to recognize that this is (as stated in the answer) just an opinion, and is not in line with the way in which the network is actually moderated. If a user behaves in a sufficiently disruptive manner in chat, that very much can have consequences for their main site account(s). Dec 23, 2023 at 22:23
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    In an ideal world this can work. Welcome to reality. Where is my ice cream?
    – rene
    Dec 24, 2023 at 7:15
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    @MadScientist well that's against my common sense. When someone is angry, the solution isn't to use the most extreme punishment right away. My answer is about first time offense in chat, not repeated behavior, maybe I should have clarified that, guess it's too late now. Dec 24, 2023 at 9:58

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