sciforums: How warnings and bans work

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James R

Just this guy, you know?
Staff member
The sciforums posting guidelines can be found in the following thread:

This post explains how official warnings and bans work.

Reports and Warnings

Any member may report any post that they believe may breach the site rules, using the "report" button on the relevant post. All reports go into a queue for the moderators' attention. Every report is considered by at least one moderator. In some instances the moderator group may discuss a report to determine the best course of action. Responses to reports can include one or more of the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
  • Moving a post or thread to a more appropriate subforum.
  • Closing a thread.
  • Removing spammers from the forum and removing all of their posts.
  • Officially warning a member or members, and optionally assigning Warning Points to a member.
  • Banning a member from posting in a particular thread or threads for a period of time (usually temporarily).
  • (for very serious offences only) immediately imposing a ban from sciforums on a member (temporary or permanent).
Moderators may also decide to take any of the above actions based on their own observations of a member's posts in the forums. That is, a report is not required for a moderator to issue an official warning to a member.

Warning points

Every member of sciforums has an active Warning Point Total. When an official warning is given by a moderator, points may be added at the moderator's discretion to the member's total. In most cases, the number of points added for a single warning will be from 1 to 10 points. In rare cases, more points may be given - especially when inappropriate posting behaviour continues after a previous warning.

Warning points usually expire 6 months from the date of issue of the warning. At the discretion of the moderator issuing the points, the expiry period may be shorter than 6 months.


A member may occasionally be banned from posting in a particular thread, particularly if they are disrupting the thread. Usually, this will apply for a limited time period (e.g. 1 week). Warning points may or may not accompany a thread ban, at the discretion of the moderators.

Whenever warning points are given, an automatic check is made of the member's (new) Warning point total. Based on this total, an automatic ban from sciforums will be issued with the warning. The ban period depends on the member's total active Warning points (i.e. points that have expired do not count towards a member's total). The ban periods are as follows:
Total active points  Ban period
             0 - 49  No ban
            50 - 59  1 day
            60 - 69  3 days
            70 - 79  1 week
            80 - 89  2 weeks
            90 - 99  1 month
               100+  Permanent
It is important to realise that a member's active Warning point total is not reduced following a ban. Points only expire after a period of time (6 months). This means that any further warnings immediately following a ban will typically result in a ban of the same or longer length.

1. MemberX has 45 active infraction points. One of MemberX's posts is reported. The moderator actioning the report issues 10 infraction points to MemberX. MemberX's active point total is now 55 points, and MemberX is automatically banned from posting to sciforums for 1 day.

2. MemberX returns from a 1 day ban with 55 active infraction points. A few days later, MemberX receives another warning with 10 points. MemberX's active point total is now 65 points, and MemberX is automatically banned from posting to sciforums for 3 days.

3. MemberX is serving a 3 day ban, with a total of 65 active Warning points. During the 3 day period, 10 old points expire, having been issued 6 months previously. At the end of the 3 day period, MemberX returns to the forum with an active total of 55 points. Any further warnings given while MemberX is on this total will result in an immediate ban of 1 day, and potentially longer if new points are added when the warning is given.

4. MemberX was previously banned a few times. Last time he was banned he had 65 active warning points, but since he returned he has received no warnings for 2 months. 45 of his points have expired in that 2 month period, so that MemberX now has 20 active points. MemberX is then given a further warning with 5 points, taking his total to 25 active points. At this point level, MemberX is not banned from the forum.


Any member may start a private conversation with a moderator or administrator to ask how many active points he or she has at any given time, and/or to be given a list of expiry dates for his or her active points.
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