Suppress the About Me on Suspended Accounts on their Profile Page?


(cpradio) #1

Continuing the discussion from Show Suspended Status on User Card:

So we discovered that the about me isn’t suppressed for Suspended Accounts on their profile page (which I believe was the assumption when we applied it to User Cards.

Any objections to suppressing the about me bio for suspended accounts? It would be very useful in our site’s setup.


(Jeff Atwood) #2

It was suppressed on the user cards due to lack of room. Is there a lack of room on the user page?

The user’s profile might give you more information about them and why they were suspended, e.g. spammy profile. (and no, new user profiles are never linked.)


(cpradio) #3

Obviously there is plenty of room, I just wonder if it permits you anything to continue seeing that information when the user is suspended. That would still be to their benefit, would it not? By hiding it, you remove their opportunity to show their “websites”, “adverts”, whatever to anyone who may still be interested in reading their profile.

This quickly became a discussion on our site so I’m partially for hiding it, although we could do that using strictly CSS. Just thought this may be a good idea for all instances.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

If they are that spammy why aren’t you deleting them outright? Why bother with a suspension? Why let spammers clutter up your system in any way?

Suspensions are for users that can reform. Spammers are supposed to be nuked on sight… that’s why there’s a one-click delete spammer function in Discourse.


(cpradio) #5

Because delete frees up the username to be used again. The auto-ban blocks IPs by default and since IPs are reusable, it could eventually block a real user, etc. Plus delete removes all history, so how do you tie back user X then became user Y who is now user Z.

And we have had several accounts with the same IP, as a technical forum, we get college students pretty frequently. Some of them do get banned for “spamming”


(Jeff Atwood) #6

It doesn’t free up the IP address or email, which are both blocked by default when removing a spammer. Why is the username more important than the email or IP?

Again, the history of an IP and email are way more significant than a username.


(cpradio) #7

Email address is meaningless, they spin those up in thousands. IP address as I stated, has and does block legitimate users.


(Jeff Atwood) #8

I guess I’m just not following how they couldn’t “spin up” thousands of usernames too.


(cpradio) #9

They usually do that as well, that part again is kept for historical purposes. You’d be amazed what patterns you can uncover. It isn’t solely my decision on these moderation techniques, so I’m just one person trying to indicate what the rest decided.

So it is hard for me to argue the experience they are using to make these decisions.

Also, it seems none of our suspended members even have the same IP address, so blocking by IP would be irrelevant at this point…


(Jeff Atwood) #10

I would strongly advise against cluttering up your suspensions with a huge list of spammers who are never going to be unsuspended.

Suspensions are for users that can, at least in theory, be reformed. They are meant to be temporary, not permanent and ever growing.

If you want a firing squad (and you probably do), use that and just log the email, ip and username if needed – though I am EXTREMELY dubious of the value of tracking username based on my experience moderating / running Stack Overflow, which has millions of users.

(Note that Discourse automatically tracks the email and IP of spammers you remove, and blacklists them. Extending that to blacklist user names too is possible… but again… I am very dubious of the value there. )


(cpradio) #11

Okay, we are focusing on the wrong thing here. The question is, is it useful to the Discourse core to suppress the bio/about me info when a user is suspended?

If the answer is no, that’s cool, no biggie. If the answer is yes, I’ll work on that PR.


(Jeff Atwood) #12

I would say no, since the only reason we suppressed it on the user card was lack of room (the card is a small pop-up). You want context for the person when viewing suspensions.

If the reason you want to suppress the about me is oh there’s spam in there, I believe we had that discussion :satisfied:


(cpradio) #13

Okay, that’s fine. I just didn’t want to beat around the bush any more :smile:


(Kane York) #14

I definitely would want to be able to have a username blacklist, but not one that gets automatically filled when spammers are deleted - freeing up the username is a good thing when deleting spammer accounts.

However, there are some usernames you don’t really want anyone to have. There’s already a blacklist for names like ‘admin’ and ‘moderator’, but forums may want domain-specific ones, like signing up as @Discourse, @Sitepoint, @atwood, or @Notch.