About infractions and bans

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by James R, Jul 8, 2007.

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  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I regularly receive queries from people, especially after they receive their first infraction, so the aims of this post is to clarify the infraction system.

    Reasons for infractions

    Breaches of the site rules may incur infractions. Currently, the following categories exist for infractions:

    Inappropriate language - 2 points
    Off-topic posting - 2 points
    Flaming - 3 points
    Trolling / Meaningless post content - 3 points
    Posting violent, abusive or pornographic content - 4 points
    Spammed advertisements - 5 points
    Insulting another member - 5 points

    Some offences do not fit neatly into any of these categories, and in that case an infraction may be given based on a point value, with explanation.

    Expiration of infraction points

    If you are given an infraction, the given number of points is added to your profile, and can be viewed by clicking on your user name on any post.

    You are also automatically sent a PM with an explanation from the moderator who gave the infraction. If your PM box is full, you will not receive the PM, but you will still get the points.

    Infraction points for individual offences automatically expire after 10 days.

    Ban policy

    Any member who gains 20 infraction points in any 10 day period (i.e. has 20 or more unexpired infraction points) will be considered for a ban from sciforums.

    A member may also be immediately banned, regardless of infraction point total, for a very serious offence.

    All infraction points are expired when a member returns from a temporary ban.

    The general policy for bans is a first temporary ban will in most circumstances be for 3 days. Continued offences may result in further 3 day bans or they may, at the discretion of moderators or administrators, be for increasing amounts of time, the normal progression being 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, 1 month, permanent ban.

    Very serious offences and blatant trolling may attract an immediate long ban, possibly permanent.

    Complaints about infractions

    It has become increasing common in recent times for posters who receive infractions to immediately reply to the PM they automatically receive from the moderator who gave the infraction. In my experience, about 80% of these replies take one or more of the following forms:

    1. The moderator is being biased by handing out an infraction.
    2. The poster thinks he or she did not deserve the infraction.
    3. The poster thinks that if he or she can find somebody else who might be worthy of an infraction, he or she should have his or her own infraction cancelled.
    4. The poster complains that other people participating in the same thread where he or she received an infraction did not receive an infraction, and so life is unfair and the moderator is biased.
    5. The poster claims that the moderator only gave the infraction because he or she has a personal grudge against the poster, and is just being "nasty".

    To save myself and the other moderators further time and effort, here are some common responses to the above complaints:

    1. A good moderator should try to avoid bias as far as possible. Most of us try to do that as best we can most of the time.

    2. Before making the complaint that you did not deserve the infraction, first take a look at your post that attracted the infraction, then take a look at what the infraction was given for (in terms of categories above). Finally, read the explanation provided by the moderator. Then, consider whether you actually broke the relevant rule or not. Don't just fire off an angry PM.

    3. Two wrongs do not make a right. The fact that, in your opinion, somebody else could equally have been given an infraction does not mean you didn't deserve the one you were given. If you think somebody else deserves an infraction in addition to you, hit the "report" button on the relevant post and the moderators will decide. Don't send off a PM to the moderator who gave you your infraction, complaining that "Bonzo said something worse that I did, and he didn't get an infraction!"

    4. See points 1 and 3.

    5. If you actually believe a moderator has a personal grudge against you and that is actually true, you will achieve nothing by contacting that moderator. The appropriate course is to contact the administrator Plazma Inferno!, who has the power to remove moderators who abuse their positions.

    Legitimate queries

    Moderators will be happy to clarify things if you actually don't understand why you got an infraction, even with the PM explanation. So, send a PM if you you're confused, but try to avoid ones which consist of complaints like the ones above.

    Don't blow things out of proportion

    An infraction is essentially a warning that your behaviour on the forum is inappropriate. It is a wake up call to suggest that you lift your game. No single infraction will result in an immediate ban - you will need to do something quite serious to get one of those. And remember that infraction points expire after 10 days.

    So, I suggest that, instead of complaining when you get 2 points for using the word "c**t" in a post, say to yourself "Ok, so it's not acceptable here to use that language. Now that I know, I'll change my behaviour, and in 10 days those 2 points will be gone anyway. No harm done. Thankyou, Mr (or Ms) Moderator for giving me a chance rather than just banning me without warning."

    -------

    Please post any questions regarding the infraction system below. Please do not use this thread as an alternative method of posting complaints of the form outlined above.
     
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  3. Kadark Banned Banned

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    Did I inspire you to make this thread?

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    Stupid question, but can other people see the red mark by my infracted posts? Can I see their's somehow?
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Qa'Dark:

    When I came here today, I have 5 PMs concerning infractions, including one from you. So, you 1/5th inspired me to make this thread. Well, a little less, since this has been brewing for a while.

    I'm not sure what other posters see; I only know what moderators see.

    Let's clear that up.

    Can posters see other posters' infractions on individual posts, or in their profiles? Infractions on posts appear as red flags next to the "edit", "quote" etc. buttons.
     
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  7. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    Off-topic posting.

    A poster's disposition—personality wise—plays a vital role in how they comport themselves online, and how and what they write.

    I -very- often read the personality more—reading between the lines—than the dead contents of a conspicuously written message that is more or less a pretty façade—for something else. And that is very much an on-topic phenomenon that I wouldn't want not to have the right to respond to if the spirit should move me to do so. I mean, psychology is one of your sub-forums, right?
     
  8. 2inquisitive The Devil is in the details Registered Senior Member

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    James R,
    No, members can't see other member's infactions, only their own.
     
  9. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    Thats a shame.
     
  10. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    can a person receive an infraction for calling someone a name even if the person being called the name doesn't care?
     
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I'm sure it happens, Orleander. For some reason, I think it did, recently. I can't remember, though; I wasn't actually involved. Er ... as far as I know.
     
  12. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    and does it get removed or does it stick?
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    It's also not longer true, if I am correct.
     
  14. Frud11 Banned Banned

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    My first ever infraction actually "got right up my nose". I had posted a story (not here) about an evangelist who has a morning show that I watch sometimes for a 'giggle'. My post was about how he keeps going on about "we" and adding stuff like "will rule"... But we recently had an armed assault here (by the police) on a group suspected of planning insurrection, over in a "back-blocks" part of the country. This asinine mod. complains, so I post a sarcastic comment at him, next thing I get 10 "demerit points". I fire off a PM giving him a bit more "opinion", and telling him to more-or-less steer clear, or I might lose it. So when he sends me back a PM about 30s later, I bin it, fire back another volley telling him to forget it, that he's a "goddam child", who should "grow up for chrissake". I got banned. 'Sob'
     
  15. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    And rightly so. If you can't discuss things civilly you shouldn't be here.
     
  16. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

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    I wish we had infractions in real life. Like for road rage or keying someones Porche.
     
  17. Frud11 Banned Banned

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    What's "civil" about being "told off" by a hall monitor? He started it. I thought I was being civil by giving him the opportunity to consider what he was doing. The whole thing started because I reacted to his ridiculous question. Obviously I should have ignored him, and the whole episode anyway was clearly asinine. It was about as civil as getting a parking ticket. I guess I learned (once again) that silence is the best response to arbitrary 'authority'. I guess the hall monitor learned nothing much. Plus I didn't post any of it. What was his problem with my story (in a general comments section)?
     
  18. sandy Banned Banned

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    I have seen others but I don't care so it doesn't matter. The whole infraction thing is kind of pathetic. If someone is an annoying troll, ban them. The little infractions for the stupidest reasons are beyond insane.

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  19. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

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    unless your one of the elite and you can say what you want! which is what my expierience is
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Then, what invariably happens is that all the annoying troll's friends get up in arms about how the ban was unfair and how not enough warning was given and how the troll was really a great and valued contributor to sciforums and how the moderators are all a bunch of humourless jerks yada yada yada...

    I must say, I find that complaint strange coming from you, seeing as you report so many posts. Why do you hit the "report" button so often, if you think the infraction system is a waste of time?
     
  21. Ripley Valued Senior Member

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    Gosh; almost as wicked as hiding underneath someone's holy robe. Which reminds me, I think it would be vastly interesting instructive for the rest of us to know who it is that reports, stools, complains, is offended, avenges themselves by hitting the Report Button. Could such a thing be set up? Or would that be asking too much, like too much red tape and stuff? Or at the least, a member who's been infracted, should be allowed to know who it was that wanted him/her infracted/banned. I should think that that could spice things up wonderfully practically.
     
  22. shorty_37 Go! Canada Go! Registered Senior Member

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    OHHHHHHHHHH That would be interesting! But I already know who does that to me

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  23. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    lol, no, I don't think you do.

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