He was both an active user and one with lot of upvotes. I think the parties who suspended him should explain why.

  • I was wondering that too. He responded poorly to his question skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1060/… being drive-by closed by Joel Spolsky without comment and was raging a bit in one of the meta threads, but I didn't think it was enough to get suspended. In either event he did say he was just going to leave and give away all his points before that, so I'm not sure it had any impact. It's to bad though, I was enjoying his answers.
    – Kit Sunde
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 4:34
  • How do you know he was suspended? Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 5:02
  • 1
    Ah, I see - his account is decorated with this information. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 5:47

6 Answers 6


A suspension is a matter between the mods of the site and the user. This information is not aired publicly out of respect for that user.

To quote Jeff Atwood:

There are two parties here:

  • The individual user is always informed via email why it is happening.
  • Moderators have access to user account annotations that tell them why it happened.

In general, it is a private matter between the moderators and that particular user.

I believe it is the reponsibility and right of the user who was placed in timed suspension to have the freedom to discuss (or not discuss) what happened to them.

It is a basic matter of respecting other users' privacy.

Avoid the Streisand Effect - be clear about the reason when suspending an account

  • Again showing my lack of all things SE, but how can someone who is disabled possibly discuss why? Doesn't it turn off all of their privileges? Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 13:43
  • 1
    @Russell The suspensions are usually only for a short time, the user can discuss it afterwards
    – Mad Scientist Mod
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 15:45
  • 1
    @RussellSteen, suspensions are not permanent, they're temporary, timed ones. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 15:52
  • Cool, thanks for pointing that out :) Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 15:52

The reasons for suspensions are considered private, so we cannot tell other users the reason. But I can tell you that the suspension was not about his meta posts, as speculated in the comment.


Tim, Russell, User, et al.

I think you guys are correct, and that I was suspended for using the rollback option on the question repeatedly, and repeatedly requesting (through flag, comment, and chat) that the question be allowed to remain the same, or else be deleted. I can't think of what else I did, nothing I said was obscene, and even my complaints weren't all that bad. I thought the rollback option was there for my use as the author. I never thought I would be suspended for using an option the website made freely available to me.

As I said, I THINK that was the reason, but I don't actually know. Because despite the moderators' posts I NEVER RECEIVED A WARNING OR EMAIL indicating why I was suspended. When I saw this question I even check all my junkmail. Nada.

I sent an email to the stack team requesting the reason be posted here, explicitly waiving my privacy related to this suspension. Not that I be unsuspended, just that the reason be posted. I also even made these posts on related stack boards expressing the same: this one and this one,. I didn't seem to have much other recourse for addressing the issues, for all the good those three actions made.

Sklivvz, since I think you were the moderator who initiated the suspension, your turn to answer (for the first time).

(Sklivvz) Edited with the permission of Dogmafrog: find the full transcript here.

  • 2
    request that the response to this be an actual ANSWER, not a comment, so it can be up or down voted on its merits.
    – Dogmafrog
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 20:09
  • 2
    When there an answer I would like to know in the spirit of transparency who made the banning decision. Was it made in explicit consensus of all three moderators or did Sklivvz made the decision alone?
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 23:24
  • 3
    @Christian, As a moderator from another site it is always made as a group decision. When the action is taken the SO team is automatically informed and investigates also. They will send us direct information if they have an issue and will fix any error of the moderator. I have seen issues on other SE sites where the moderator went out of control(this is not an example of that at all) and it was quickly handled.
    – Kortuk
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 3:06

As far as I understand there are rules about how the Penalty Box feature is to be used: There are nine different reasons why someone can be banned:

Other users tend to react poorly to this user’s contributions, posting negative responses in kind and generally causing a commotion.

There is a broad sense of community resentment over this user’s behavior, and they are frequently cited in discussion about the community.

There is a dark storm cloud of moderator flags that seems to follow this user around wherever they go.

The moderators get email complaints about this user’s behavior. This user makes overtly snide, rude, or hostile comments to their fellow users.

This user does not put reasonable effort into the questions they ask of the community.

There is little or no evidence of this user learning over time, either in the topic itself or in the community norms on the site.

This user intentionally spams the site with the same question or very similar questions, over and over.

The user never gives anything back to the community, but only takes.

I don't think banning a person because they Rollback a question is in the spirit of those rules. A single disagreement with a moderator about how a question should be edited isn't included.

The rules aren't about punishing a single instance but about punishing a person who's a problem in multiple cases.

The general spirit of moderation is defined as:

Our general strategy is to discourage specific problem behaviors, not individual users. But sometimes you just can’t seem to reach people, and it becomes necessary to place accounts in timed suspension.

Without even sending Dogmafrog a warning about using the Rollback feature before the ban it's very hard to argue that Sklivvz tried to reach Dogmafrog about the behavior. I would like a detailed explanation of why Sklivvz thinks that a ban was necessary when he hadn't tried to contact Dogmafrog via email or comment to tell him that he isn't allowed to rollback.

  • 1
    For the record: it was most certainly not a single disagreement with a moderator. And, although I suspended him, the decision was not mine alone. See the chat for more details.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 0:33
  • 1
    Dogmafrog was warned in comments. When we realized he was not interested in stopping his disruptive behavior, we decided on a 24 hours suspension to let him cool off.
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 0:54

Given the evidence, moderation is becoming too heavy handed. In this case the community reopened a question and a single moderator took it on himself to realign the site to his preferences. I'm disappointed that the other moderators backed him, but that does not excuse it. Just read through comments and histories and you can see that Sklivvz is very antagonistic in style. He seems to take personal affront whenever someone questions him. He's not above going into comment diatribes to explain when others are wrong.

Moderators should be more calm, cool, and level headed. What this looks like is a user trying to make a point about over moderation and being smacked down for daring.

  • 5
    Echo “I'm disappointed that the other moderators backed him”.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 5:42
  • 1
    If you see any user, even a moderator, behaving in a way you deem unacceptable, please flag the comment. We will look into it promptly. As for the situation with Dogmafrog, I don't think that I am at liberty to discuss it but you do not have access to all the information.
    – Borror0
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 5:52
  • @Borror0: Deciding whether someone acts unacceptable is hard when the person doesn't publically argue their case and some relevant information is deleted.
    – Christian
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 23:29

I know why.

In response to one moderator's request to change the title of his post in exchange for reopening it, he left a comment, stating that his title for that question is fine, and he has no intention to change it in exchange for something.

His comment soon got deleted as if nothing had happened. But anyone who has read it will clearly remember his feeling about his own post, because it is shared among many of us here.

If you looked at the revision history of the post, you will understand he not only said it but also had tried all he could.

  • 2
    The user's account will be unfrozen in a very short time. If and when he decides to speak out, he will be able to do so - in the meanwhile, please respect his privacy and don't speculate.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 15:57
  • 3
    @Sklivvz: When he made his comment, he wanted others to know his feeling. Now his comment is gone out of his will. All I can say is this is something not about his privacy but about the behaviour of the moderators.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 17:25
  • In this specific case, and having interacted with Dogmafrog, I don't think it is Dogma who's being protected by this rule. However I see the usefulness of the rule overall so we should not undermine that when we can just wait for the suspension to expire. Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 19:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .