Should there be some kind of ♦ mod notification, or even automatic suspension, for users who are repeatedly flagged for spam/offensive content? By flagged I mean flagged the whole six times complete with the -100 penalty.

I have seen at least one user that fits this description. It seems like the -100's (SIX OF THEM) aren't doing the trick, and some other course of action may be necessary.

  • 1
    Jeff has said that the votes and flags are for the post not the person (though I can't find the reference right now), so while it sounds like a good idea it goes against the ethos of the sites.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 16:21
  • There was a discussion about his rep drop started by that exact user yesterday here on Meta.
    – Pekka
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 16:42
  • I'm confused about how this one got flagged as spam stackoverflow.com/posts/2482562/revisions
    – Earlz
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 19:30
  • Oh wait. never mind. Those were answers, not questions. And I of course can not seem them because they got deleted and I'm <10k
    – Earlz
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 19:32
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    @earlz - the user in question had an answer that was sarcastic and mean spirited.
    – user27414
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 19:37
  • @Jon: I'm counting 7 x -100's for that user...
    – retracile
    Commented Apr 9, 2010 at 13:58

7 Answers 7


This is a good idea but auto-suspensions are NOT a good idea. The mods should be alerted and then should decide what to do. They are here for this very reason; let them do their work!

  • 2
    +1 Agree with this- I can see an auto-suspend hack attack... trolls going after Jon Skeet...
    – Dave
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 16:26
  • 1
    In suspension a user has a rep of 1, I'd so have to get a screen shot of Jon Skeet's 1 rep.
    – Earlz
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 19:31

Since five old posts of that user got flagged as offensive in a single day there is really not that much he could have retroactively changed about that.

Also, if the flags are doing the trick will remain to be seen, since that just happened yesterday.

I don't think any automated action would be appropriate.

  • Take a look at his graph. There is far more downward movement than on any other rep graph I've seen, and not just in the last couple of days.
    – user27414
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 15:27
  • @Jon: There only seem to be two days with downward movement before the recent series of flags
    – sth
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 15:56

I'm assuming this kind of behaviour is relatively abnormal. Regardless, I strongly disagree that there should be auto-suspensions.

In the name of transparency and consideration, all of the situations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by a moderator (i.e., notify a mod automatically would be nice). Even if the situation is perfectly clear, IMO there needs to be a fair process of trial and appeal before a suspension is given.

Moreover, even if a user's content is flagged a lot, there are varying degrees of offensiveness to the content, past history, etc. While it's unlikely a user would be given a more lenient suspension, it could be decided that a user should be suspended immediately, or for a longer period of time, given the nature of what was posted.

Any kind of auto-suspension system would not be able to evaluate the situation the way a mod could. While that does bring a level of subjectivity to the process, I trust the mods to be fair and take action based on what is best for the site.


This user is an interesting case, because he or she actually does provide useful answers in some cases, even sometimes accepted answers. However, it's pretty obvious that other times he or she is being deliberately provocative, and has stated publicly that he or she doesn't particularly care about the offensive penalty.

There is a word for behavior like this that I'll refrain from applying. Let's just say instead that it seems to be attenion-seeking behavior. And creating an entire meta thread about it only encourages such behavior. This is rare enough that moderators can handle it. They're elected because their judgment is trusted by the community, so let's ... well... trust them.

So, just flag for a moderator, don't feed the tr... (cough) ... That is, don't encourage attention-seeking behavior by creating an entire meta discussion around it.

  • 1
    I had a different word in mind...
    – user102937
    Commented Apr 8, 2010 at 22:43
  • It's definitely he :) Commented Aug 31, 2013 at 19:22

If the -100s arent doing the trick, maybe they should be doubled after each offense until X number is reached followed by a suspension.

On a side note, suspensions and -100s are only relevant to existing users with a legitimate amount of rep. Anyone with little to no rep can easily make a new acct.


There should definitely be some penalty for repeatedly being flagged for offensive content. I like your suggestions:

1st) mod warning

2nd) auto suspension

3rd) auto suspension with increasing timespans


How about, rather than a fixed 100 rep loss, losing a percentage of your rep for repeat offenses. Losing, say, 25% of your rep should be a pretty significant loss for anyone.

I guess it all depends on how much you want to discourage this type of behaviour.

Whatever options are considered, I think that suspension sets a bad precedent. We should be asking people to 'play nice', not 'don't play at all'.

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