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Talking Point: If Someone Is Rude And Gets Banned

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If a normal user of an online community or messageboard or personal acts like a complete asshole (in other words, I'm NOT talking the reasonable rudeness that goes on between friends, and I'm NOT talking about polite criticism) to the owner of that website, or to a moderator or other person of authority on the website, and they are acting like this on said website, are there any circumstances under which they might NOT reasonably expect some kind of punishment for this behavior, up to and including a permanent ban?

This has just been on my mind lately;1 I mean, maybe it's just an obvious common-sense thing and I'm just being bothered over nothing (and it wouldn't be the first time), but I'm curious to see what other people have to say about this topic. Therefore, I'm just going to leave the comments permanently open with no auto-close. I do, however, require that the discussion remain civil and on-topic, so I might moderate things a bit more tightly than I would on other pages. Remember the rules for here, too!

1No, this isn't about anything I did, or that happened to me, or anything that was on this website.

12 Comments (rss feed)


Well, if the owner of the website was negligent asshole as well... which happens way too often

Really, if someone was being that rude, they need a punishment. There really aren't any exceptions.

Hunter 1

Well, the only exception I can think of is when it's the highest level of authority on the site being rude to someone of lower rank; after all, if the mods are abusing their authority/breaking the rules, you go to the admins, and if it's the admins, you go to the site owner, but who's higher than the site owner?

But I can't for the life of me think of a "standard" example of an exception, even though I know there must be one (I'm a big believer in the concept of an exception for every rule).


The only situation I can think of (assuming it's a normal user harassing a staff member) would be a subforum (or entire community) that is explicitly devoted to unrestricted behavior, up to and including unprovoked flames and abuse.

The owner of a site is like the owner of a building, while admins and mods are like managers and security guards. If I don't like the way you're behaving in my house, I have the right to throw you out, and in many places (such as where I live) businesses have the right to refuse service for almost any reason. A ban is basically someone on the internet asking you to keep off his property.

Dizzy H. Muffin

Yeah, my idea was that it was a normal user behaving that way towards someone of higher authority. I'll edit it to fix that.


Yeah I can understand where you're comming from Muffin, since I had a run-in with something like that before.

Let's just say that I've been on both sides of this very issue, and quite frankly it's very understandable as to why you would like to keep things going for discussion. As long as it's on a friendly basis and not being what I would call being a total tool towards members and the owner of the site.

In any case the worst type would be if a MOD was acting like the ass towards others just by having a normal conversation. Obviously that would never happen here, but I've seen some decide to abuse thier possission towards people they either don't like, or don't care to see eye to eye on things.

Anyways this is your site so you do have final say as to what goes on here, and how things are done. Also, I'm not to sure if you need help with the MODing here, but I'm sure things will be fine for you. Although some of us regulars could help if you even need it. Just saying is all. :p


Honestly the only case where I can think of is if its a single time event. As in one period of no more than a couple hours. Prolonged attitude like that suggests that they really don't want to be a part of the community to me.


I dunno about reasonably but I think most people acting like that either don't care or don't believe they CAN be punished.


Speaking of people who don't think they can be punished for their behavior on the internet, I think it's funny when they get warnings or tempbans on forums and then invoke the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It's like they don't realize that it only protects them from the actions of the US government.

Dizzy H. Muffin

Ah, I was actually wondering if that would come up at all. For the record, my favorite comparison is that it's more like you're in someone's living room, and they have every right to shove you out the door if you start knocking over their furniture.


Wolf: In any case the worst type would be if a MOD was acting like the ass towards others just by having a normal conversation.

I've seen that before on forums that I staff. a couple time's it got bad enough to the point that we actually removed the moderators in question from their positions as moderators do drive the point that we wouldn't tolerate that behavior from our own staff either


I feel like it could cause a bit of an image problem if it happened too often, that is, if the moderators seem to be banning people just for disagreeing with them. I know that's not what you're saying per say, but in the heat of things, it can be hard to distinguish between "This user is being an asshole" and "This user is confronting me and I disagree with him"


@sRc: Yeah Long story short I more or less got involved with a Lesser MOD being a total ass while I had to use my MOD powers to interviene. Becuase of what I did the user along wiht people supporting said user got thier ranks droped down to either a Lesser MOD or a standard user.

Granted pretty much things changed on that site, and I have to say it was for the better... at least I hope it was.

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