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Locked: When someone is banned...

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  • Mar 25th, 2019 4:00 pm
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Feb 11, 2018
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When someone is banned...

would it be possible for the mod to indicate what was the reason? This way other posters could learn from other people's mistakes and try to make sure to avoid such missteps.

Sometimes it is obvious why one was banned, but in other cases it is not so clear. And since we would like to be able to keep on posting it would be nice to have as much info as possible.

Thank you.
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Similar to the infraction system, reasons for user bannings have always been kept private to respect the personal privacy of the individual user. Select times we have provided reasons for bannings when it possibly involved user safety (e.g: being banned for scamming other users).

More often than not we try to inform users of any problems through edits/warnings/private messages before we'd issue an infraction. There's plenty of room for error before any account would become banned (in most cases). If you read and follow the rules and practice common sense, it's very unlikely you'll end up banned.
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I received a PM from a friend of a user, who was on the receiving end of personal attacks in the now locked New Zealand thread. He says the user who was receiving personal attacks, was shadow banned. I told him to contact you for explanation. I'm not sure if OP is referring to the same user.

M
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Micelli_Illuminatti wrote: I received a PM from a friend of a user, who was on the receiving end of personal attacks in the now locked New Zealand thread. He says the user who was receiving personal attacks, was shadow banned. I told him to contact you for explanation. I'm not sure if OP is referring to the same user.

M
We're still in the process of reviewing everything that happened in that thread (a lot of rules were broken by many). It's very possible that accounts have been suspended and/or users have lost access to select forums.

Anyone with account questions are always welcome to contact us.
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Sounds good with me, Tom. That's what I did, I directed them to you. Thanks.

M
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Hi TomRFD I was sent an e.mail from Shan username Taurus Judge with pictures of not being able to access forum to post or send private mesage. Here is the pictures.

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What exactly is RFD (@TomRFD) doing in terms of preventing previously banned users from making new accounts?

Let's just say I find it odd that so-called newbies immediately jump into Off-Topic and begin posting comments (even trolling) as if they're already familiar with the RFD environment.
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chimaican wrote: What exactly is RFD (@TomRFD) doing in terms of preventing previously banned users from making new accounts?

Let's just say I find it odd that so-called newbies immediately jump into Off-Topic and begin posting comments (even trolling) as if they're already familiar with the RFD environment.
I won't get into specifics (because it would make it easier for people to circumvent our tactics) but we do whatever we can to try to prevent this from happening. You're not wrong in that new users don't typically jump head first into Off Topic.
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You are not authorised to read this forum.
so I am one of the chosen ones Winking Face

who did I offend ?
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TomRFD wrote: We're still in the process of reviewing everything that happened in that thread (a lot of rules were broken by many). It's very possible that accounts have been suspended and/or users have lost access to select forums.

Anyone with account questions are always welcome to contact us.
any more info on that pls.
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TomLafinsky wrote: would it be possible for the mod to indicate what was the reason? This way other posters could learn from other people's mistakes and try to make sure to avoid such missteps.

Sometimes it is obvious why one was banned, but in other cases it is not so clear. And since we would like to be able to keep on posting it would be nice to have as much info as possible.
The RFD staff are smart to never reveal the reasons. If they did do, it would build up a body of 'case law,' creating a standard and expectations against which future moderation actions would be judged. For example:

Guy 1 got banned because they did X, Y and Z.
Guy 2 did X, Y, Z three times over, and did not get banned.

RFD users: Why didn't Guy 2 get banned? WTF is this double standard?! Were is the staff accountability?
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chimaican wrote: What exactly is RFD (@TomRFD) doing in terms of preventing previously banned users from making new accounts?

Let's just say I find it odd that so-called newbies immediately jump into Off-Topic and begin posting comments (even trolling) as if they're already familiar with the RFD environment.
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If you have a question about your account please send me a PM or use our contact us page.
Jucius Maximus wrote:
The RFD staff are smart to never reveal the reasons. If they did do, it would build up a body of 'case law,' creating a standard and expectations against which future moderation actions would be judged. For example:

Guy 1 got banned because they did X, Y and Z.
Guy 2 did X, Y, Z three times over, and did not get banned.

RFD users: Why didn't Guy 2 get banned? WTF is this double standard?! Were is the staff accountability?
Lots of wonder newbies lately, particularly in the OT-PRC subforum. One-track minded and baiters. Definitely not your bonafide regular RFD member.

Perhaps a solution to this annoying problem would be to grant access to the Off Topic forum in stages after the user proves they aren't up to mischief, for example granting access to the Off Topic general forum (but not to the PRC subforum) ONLY after a minimum number of posts in non-OT forums, say 100-200 or a direct PM request to the admins (if it's for an urgent and worthy matter) and granting access to OT-PRC long after that (only after let's say 300 posts outside OT -- or even a larger threshold).

Pretty unusual and contorted seeing a user not taking care of their issue directly (through the contact-us well-known and well-established channel for reporting issues or exceptionally by creating a disposable account) but doing so through other RFD members as middle-men. Not a good practice at all.

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aviador wrote: Perhaps a solution to this annoying problem would be to grant access to the Off Topic forum in stages after the user proves they aren't up to mischief, for example granting access to the Off Topic general forum (but not to the PRC subforum) ONLY after a minimum number of posts in non-OT forums, say 100-200 or a direct PM request to the admins (if it's for an urgent and worthy matter) and granting access to OT-PRC long after that (only after let's say 300 posts outside OT -- or even a larger threshold).
This is actually something we're in the process of doing right now. We know some of these new accounts are returning banned members and/or second/third accounts of people who don't want to get in trouble with their main account. I expect it to be ready by next week.
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Setting up parameters based on post count doesnt work. What happens on other forums that employs this is the user just make comments like "How are you.. I'm a newb here.", "Thanks", etc. as a reply to 50 - 100 posts. Thus, allowing them access to the debate forums where they show their real online trolling personality. A better more stringent way is based on "upvotes". Someone receiving a threshold of 100 upvotes with zero infractions is a much better measurement of a contributing member than some troll based on 100 post count.
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aznnorth wrote: Setting up parameters based on post count doesnt work. What happens on other forums that employs this is the user just make comments like "How are you.. I'm a newb here.", "Thanks", etc. as a reply to 50 - 100 posts. Thus, allowing them access to the debate forums where they show their real online trolling personality. A better more stringent way is based on "upvotes". Someone receiving a threshold of 100 upvotes with zero infractions is a much better measurement of a contributing member than some troll based on 100 post count.
We know it's not the best way possible to deter this, but it's the only easy way for us to do it. Every other method requires either a lot of manual labour and/or new features to be built.

It takes a fair amount of effort to create an account and make hundreds of legitimate posts under it (we already watch for accounts that make low content/garbage posts). We can also revoke someone access to Off Topic a lot easier than they can create a new account to get access to it. Ideally a combination of posts and upvotes would be the ideal solution though.
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aznnorth wrote: Setting up parameters based on post count doesnt work. What happens on other forums that employs this is the user just make comments like "How are you.. I'm a newb here.", "Thanks", etc. as a reply to 50 - 100 posts. Thus, allowing them access to the debate forums where they show their real online trolling personality. A better more stringent way is based on "upvotes". Someone receiving a threshold of 100 upvotes with zero infractions is a much better measurement of a contributing member than some troll based on 100 post count.
Good catch.

That criteria sounds plausible as well. Particularly if used as a complementary criteria -- because just a few "free" or "contests" or hot deals threads would allow reaching a non discriminated thanks-based threshold pretty quickly. Mixing thanks and post count metrics might do the trick. Say for example, 100 different thanked post would grant access to OT-general ex-PRC. 300 (a larger number is better) different thanked post would grant access to OT-PRC [i.e., account corresponds to a constructive discussion contributor who might be less prone to trolling or agenda pushing]. Cliques and other organized backstage group of members might try to beat such system by thanking each other's posts, for example. But such pattern would be easily detectable.

Numbers above chosen for illustration only, actual thresholds might need to be larger.

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aviador wrote: Good catch.

That criteria sounds plausible as well. Particularly if used as a complementary criteria -- because just a few "free" or "contests" or hot deals threads would allow reaching a non discriminated thanks-based threshold pretty quickly. Mixing thanks and post count metrics might do the trick. Say for example, 100 different thanked post would grant access to OT-general ex-PRC. 300 (a larger number is better) different thanked post would grant access to OT-PRC [i.e., account corresponds to a constructive discussion contributor who might be less prone to trolling or agenda pushing]. Cliques and other organized backstage group of members might try to beat such system by thanking each other's posts, for example. But such pattern would be easily detectable.

Numbers above chosen for illustration only, actual thresholds might need to be larger.
Correct. Many forums employ this method using various criteria. It's NOT a lot of work as the admin seems to believe since many plugins are free or charged a nominal one-time fee to use them. I have no doubt the phpBB forums have tons of admin/mod control plugin tools available just like vbulletin (prior platform) had TONS. And YES, this admin control panel plugin exists. Just a matter of selecting variables and setting parameters. Simple.
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aznnorth wrote: It's NOT a lot of work as the admin seems to believe since many plugins are free or charged a nominal one-time fee to use them. I have no doubt the phpBB forums have tons of admin/mod control plugin tools available just like vbulletin (prior platform) had TONS. And YES, this admin control panel plugin exists. Just a matter of selecting variables and setting parameters. Simple.
Yes, there are plug-ins for a lot of things. Is there one for this specific feature? Not that I'm aware of. Even if there were, it likely wouldn't be compatible because while we do use the base PHPBB code, it's extremely customized to the point where it's unlikely we could simply drop something in and it would work. The last thing we want to do is hastily add something in which could potentially bring the entire forum down.

Any modification, especially to our forums, requires a decent amount of work and has to go through a lot of testing. For something that would only serve the purpose of blocking a couple of accounts from a few forums, it's not exactly a high priority for us.

Our other methods already appear to be working well and we'll continue to work with the tools we have at our disposal to improve the current state of those select few forums.
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Snitch line, or would that would going too far?
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