Better ban screen, with options for appealing and what caused the ban

So, currently, the ban screen only shows the following message:

And I believe this is not enough information for a good “you’re banned” page.
This is why I believe this page should be redesigned. It feels so “blank” right now.

New features

  • Offensive Items: What post(s) caused this ban, so a person can know more accurately what exactly did they do, so in case of an appeal, the banned person can provide more accurate information. Also it will help Moderators and Administrators help with remembering what exactly did they do. One or more posts can be selected, with possible individual reasons for each one.
  • Appeal Group and Appeals: A group in the system can have the flag “is_appeal”. This group will:
    – Be listed on the ban page under the Appeal button
    – Be available to message by Banned users
    – Have it’s responses to you shown on the ban page, used for appeal outcomes
    – Have a box on the ban page to fill out in case you want an appeal
  • Flexible reasons: Each Offensive Item can have it’s reason for why it caused the ban instead of one reason for everything.

Structure of new ban page:

New ban page

Your account has been banned.
This ban has been issued on ISSUE_DATE.
This ban will expire on EXPIRY_DATE.
Reason: MAIN_REASON
The following items have caused this ban:
>>>>>>>#1<<<<<<<
Reason: REASON_OFFENSIVE_1
Offensive Item: (Insert the post here.)
>>>>>>>#2<<<<<<<
Reason: REASON_OFFENSIVE_2
Offensive Item: (Insert another post here.)

To get unbanned, please kindly state why you should be unbanned here:
(Insert textbox for appeal here)
(Appeal button)
Your response will appear here after reviewed.
(Insert response here)

Please post your thoughts about the new suggested page here.

I don’t feel like this is needed because suspensions are meant for users who repeatedly break the rules.

There are very few cases where a user gets suspended without first having been warned by forum staff. Meaning that the user will know why they have been suspended.

Also, the silencing function is basically what you described (with minor differences), as it prevents a user from posting except in private messages, where they can talk to staff.

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Why isn’t a redesigned ban page needed? And silencing isn’t a ban page redesign.

A ban page redesign isn’t needed because there isn’t anything else a suspended user needs to see besides when they will be unsuspended.

They have lost their privileges on the forum and already know why they were suspended.

Also, my reference to silencing users was not as a ban page, but as a way to allow users who have not gone far enough to be sent into the abyss of suspending to appeal and still somewhat use the forum.

What about easier Appeals?

Read the bottom section of my reply. Again, you should only suspend a user who refuses to cooperate after multiple warnings. Silencing should be used for almost all cases, while suspending should be a last resort.

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One forum however uses only complete bans as punishment, not silencing. So there should be an option to appeal a global ban, as my account got banned until 3020 there.

This seems to be a specific case of handing moderation and not a Discourse problem.

You should take this up with the staff of the forum, as I am sure there are other ways to contact them than in the forum itself.

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And a user that has been offensive (as an example) online there is a really really slim chance that they care and will want to come back.

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There is a lot of super complex stuff you could do here. Remember Riot Games (which sadly suffered under a toxic corporate culture, as it turns out) at one time had a whole “community tribunal” system to deal with this sort of thing.

The problem is that these systems are so rarely exercised / needed on the average Discourse site. It is a balancing act to build just the right amount of tooling necessary to handle the problems you’re likely to encounter on an average Discourse site, versus complex, enormous big city problems that only a handful of extremely large sites would encounter under one-in-a-million circumstances.

3 Likes

To be fair, I agree with you on this one. There are so many systems in Discourse, like Warnings that went unused in the forum I am talking about. And as it’s a big forum, all moderation actions, including permanent bans are final and will not be overturned there, even if you appeal and sincerely apologize.

1 Like

Well, if you have sincerely apologized and asked for atonement, at least you can take solace in knowing that you’re doing better than 98% of the rest of the online world. Seriously.

It’s on the site staff to have reasonable policies about this, and it’s their site, their rules.

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Additionally, everything you’ve mentioned requires a lot of extra work from the forum moderators to enter, and assumes that post content is the only possible reason for a suspension.

This is clearly not the case:

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Personally as a moderator, I’m against the notion of suspension appeals. Suspensions are only given out(In our case) if the user is found to be repeatedly breaking rules after multiple warnings. Clearly they haven’t understood anything – There’s not much to appeal about in this case. Silencing technically allows the user to contact the staff members, but cannot cause any trouble in public threads, this is a place where moderators usually talk to them about their actions.

1 Like

In the last year and a half, on our very large (And sometimes contentious) community, the number of people who have been permanently suspended and requested reactivation (out of about 30 or so people) is: 0.

We have multiple means of contact, including a customer service help desk they can email.

Now, I"ve had people silenced who were able to speak and successfully renegotiate.

When you have reached that point, the community doesn’t want you anymore. Move on.

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It looks like I will have to wait 1000 years then :confused: (will Discourse even exist at that point?)

I think it’s safe to say that it won’t matter by the time that ban expires.

Out of the 16 Discourse forums I have mod/admin access to I’ve only had 2 suspensions appealed out of 114, and one of those was a legitimate error on a moderator’s part as they failed to notice there were two users with similar usernames and just banned the first one that came up in the user search.

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The current ban page is just sooooo minimalistic on Discourse. And what if someone wants an appeal?

I think it’s logical to consider that if you have been suspended, then they want you not in the forum to the point appeal isn’t needed. There’s a reason why silencing lets you DM. Also, it’s best if you talk to the higher-ups in your forum about “appealing”, we have no support whatsoever in regards to appealing your punishment on your forum. This place isn’t really a place to ask about personal punishments, and we really can’t do anything to shorten your punishment on that forum. Another thing to consider is that this is easily doable with plugins, there’s always options to use #marketplace. Personally I see no point in this feature as it is already easily doable by silencing instead of suspension.

3 Likes

But the forum only uses global bans, not Silencing…