Temporary bans - do they work?

jair101

Participant
Joined
Nov 17, 2012
Messages
83
On my community I ban people very rarely (outside of the obvious spammers). But when I do it, it is permanent. I don't believe that a troublemaker will be reformed after a temporary ban, it is more like he will cause even more problems by trying to bend the rules just enough to avoid a second ban, but still enough to poison the discussions.

What is your experience on this subject, do temporary bans work and how do you handle them? Via an automatic warning system, manually or how?
 

Lisa

Chaotically Proportional
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
27,488
I think it's very site-specific on whether temporary bans can work. For me, personally, I never use them. If someone has got to the point where I think they need to leave, then I ban them and that's the end of it (but, like you, I ban people rarely and give them untold amounts of chances before hitting that button).
 

The Sandman

Administrator
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Jan 1, 2004
Messages
29,140
Actually, they do work... sometimes. They have to be the right length (a month is usually best), and you have to tell the member why you've done it but don't get into a long discussion about it. Basically you're giving them a chance to calm down and think about things after the anger subsides. When the ban is over they may come back and jump right back into whatever got them banned in the first place (much more likely if the ban is too short), or they might not come back at all (or not for a long time after the ban ends). Sometimes though, they come back and rejoin the community like nothing happened and go on to be good members.

The alternative is a permanent ban, which is a misnomer really - it's a non-time limited ban. Since it can be reversed at any time, you can expect that in some cases at least, the member will contact you with a request to be unbanned or you may actually come to the conclusion that the ban was excessive punishment in that particular case and contact the member yourself.

Of course, some members and some behaviors are simply not compatible with community membership. In those cases the banning should never end. But I'm assuming in this thread that we're talking about those members you think might be salvageable.
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,187
I avoid bans these days. If I do it's usually a short period to let them cool off a few days. If it's severe enough to warrant 30 days I might as well perma ban them.
 

cornnfedd

Captain Futurama
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Aug 12, 2006
Messages
1,060
Having been banned myself on a particular forum which will remain unnamed on numerous occasions, I have now been a moderator on that forum for the past 5+ years. Rocky start then pulled my head in... lol but I was just too much of a smart a$$ I guess.

Most times I would say if a person is toxic then get rid of them permanently, on those rare occasions people will sometimes take what has been said on board and improved their behaviours... It does depend what they are banned for though, like abusing someone or personal attacks etc that leads to a ban probably good to make it a permanent ban - or people that want to argue and abuse admin - again perma ban. When I got banned I always apologized etc, didnt argue the point or disrespect admin doing their job.. :)

:)
 

The Sandman

Administrator
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Jan 1, 2004
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29,140
With rare exceptions forum owners do not like to ban members - they only do it if necessary to control members who won't otherwise behave within except able limits. I'm assuming for purposes of this discussion that .we're talking about such members.

I've never found a few days cooling off to be sufficient - people tend to stay angry longer than that - but it wouldn't surprise me if this was niche dependent.

We're talking about situations where it's already been determined that lesser measures won't work, so it's really just a question of time limited bans or non-time limited bans - you might as well experiment to see what works best for your forum.
 

Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
Joined
Jun 26, 2006
Messages
3,980
We dont normally suspend a member manually, but our infractions system does it automatically based on points accumulated.

These bans (suspensions) range from 1 day to 2 months, after that its a permanant ban, the short term suspensions often work to calm people down.
 

Guinevere

Neophyte
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
9
I think they can work, depending on the situation - we only use them as an absolute last resort on our forum, and a permanent ban is a once in a blue moon type deal - but we've actually had one member in particular who was permanently banned, and emailed us after a year appealing for a second chance. After some discussion, and considering that aside from a love of creating drama they did actually contribute great content to the forum, we decided to let them bank and they've been true to their word in turning over a new leaf.
 

Digital Doctor

Tazmanian
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May 16, 2012
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4,693
By the same logic, you'd take the driver's license away for first time speeding offenders.

A lot of the time banning doesn't reform the poster. But it can.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
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Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,682
Depending where or how fast they are speeding yes you take the license away even first time offenders.

If the person does not change after his temp ban then he can go somewhere else he outstayed his welcome.
 

Paul M

Dr Pepper Addict
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Jun 26, 2006
Messages
3,980
By the same logic, you'd take the driver's license away for first time speeding offenders..
That's perfectly possible in the UK, especially for those who have only had a license for < 2 years (so like newly registered users).
 

haqzore

Devotee
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
2,556
discussion and awareness around the ban reason should have started (in most cases) long before the ban takes place.

if it has, temp bans can serve the good purpose of showing your bark has some bite behind it.
 

Optimistologist

Aspirant
Joined
Oct 24, 2017
Messages
13
Temporary bans work most of the times.

Also, it is fair to give your users a second chance. They deserve one warning before they are thrown out. If they commit the same mistake twice within six months, you can then surely give them a red card without hesitating.

Till then you can yellow card them. :tup:
 

bevans49

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 22, 2008
Messages
38
I seldom ban at all anymore. Usually taking away someones access to the category where they're causing problems sends a clear enough signal.
 

Alpha1

Administrator
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May 28, 2007
Messages
4,062
We use a 1 month ban if warning points rack up and a permanent ban if they rack up more.
We also use a 2 week ban if warning points do not rack up but the number of warnings do.
This way the member has plenty of chances to change direction, but the bans are serious enough for the member to take heed and long enough for the member to cool off.
 

Horton

Aspirant
Joined
Nov 20, 2017
Messages
37
If someone is difficult enough to really piss me off enough to get banned once chances are they will do it again.

I will PM a toxic user a lot and try to have an adult conversation and if that fails they I ban forever and move on.
 

skrinkle

Participant
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Messages
97
The site I admin has always used temporary bans. The temporary bans usually result in the person being banned ONLY from the specific forum they violated rules in, since most forums have separate rule systems. “Global” bans are bans across all forums but are rare. The usual time of a ban is 24 hours up to 3 days depending on what they did. If the person were to continue to break rules they may get a week ban. It’s extrmemly rare that anyone get a perma ban, and as of right now I can only think of one person who is perma banned.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,646
Sometimes people just need a period to cool off and do other stuff. How you sell temp bans to users makes the difference.

A 'suspension' of 1-2 days is generally seen as much less offensive. It allows nocive discussions to die down and gives staff a lot of time to adress them (editing bad posts, talking to participants, receiving responses, discussing them internally), all while reducing the stigma tempbanned users may face from the shameful 'banned' status that suggests mental immaturity.
 

radu81

Fan
Joined
Feb 17, 2012
Messages
657
I've been temporary banned on a forum because I broke the rules in the "Marketplace" section of that forum, don't remember exactly if it was for one or two weeks. Many other active members were temporary banned there for the same reason and we learned our lesson. It's a small forum and after the ban we all came back like nothing happened :)
So I'd say they work
 

dojo

Passionate admin
Joined
Apr 27, 2005
Messages
3,781
I also think it depends on the community. I used this many years ago and for some members it worked, it cooled them off, but in some cases they were so furious, they immediately used the forums to spread their 'poison', as soon as the ban was lifted. I then decided to use permanent bans and it was better
 
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