Warnings & Banning
The staff do try to issue friendly cautions (usually general cautions on threads, whenever flammable behaviour starts up) before hitting any Member with a ban—but that isn’t always possible.
When behavior breaks the Forum Rules moderators may issue warnings. Warnings carry infraction points and expiry dates. Moderators decide on the number of infraction points the Member earns with each warning.
Infraction points accumulate, according to their expiry date. In other words, even after a temporary ban ends, the points will remain on the Member’s record until the points expire. If the Member breaks more rules there will be more points given. These points will get added to the previous ones that have not yet expired.
0 points - warnings given for very minor issues
1-4 points - warnings given for relatively minor issues (usually no ban, other than a possible 24-hour ‘time out', or a ban from participating in a certain thread.)
When accumulated infraction points reach the levels listed below, banning automatically occurs.
5 points - 7 day ban
10 points - 30 day ban
20 points - 90 day ban
30 points - 180 day ban
32 points - permanent ban
Moderators can issue a single 5-point warning, a 10-point warning, 12-point warning, etc, all the way up to 32 points. The number of points given for each single warning are based on:
1) the severity and nature of the incident
2) the history of the Member in terms of previous points earned
3) general forum behavior
4) whatever other factors the moderators deem relevant to the particular case.
How To Avoid Getting Banned
Most members will go their whole forum lives without ever even getting a warning, in essence, if you don’t break the Forum Rules you won’t get any warning points. If you do slip up and earn warning points, pay attention to what has happened, and don’t repeat the behaviour.
The clean hands rule.
On the thankfully rare occasions that a thread blows up into a full blown argument, it is unlikely that moderators will have the time, energy, or inclination to trace back through ten, twenty, fifty, whatever posts to see who started it, especially when both sides are blaming the other. Therefore it is usual for everyone who is breaking the rules to wind up with warnings regardless of who started it, who said what about who's mother , or who is going to get whom at play time. Therefore should you happen to witness one of these conflagrations, the thing to do is report it to the mod team but otherwise don't get involved.
We take a very dim view of people who are not moderators trying to police the site. It is completely fine for established members to guide newer members politely or to answer simple questions like "why can't I post in the workshop?" That kind of thing is helpful and welcome. However when a member, or groups of members, start trying to tell another member what they can or can't say it usually gets ugly, fast. Engaging in Pseudo moderation is a sure fire way to wind up with warning points or a ban, so don't do that.
Appealing a Warning or a Ban
Generally speaking, warnings and bans won't be reversed. However, in special circumstances, it's possible.
Warnings are generally not worth the trouble to appeal, but you may contact a Moderator via a 'conversation' and explain why you think the warning isn't justified. (The Moderator will include fellow Moderators in the conversation for transparency.) Try to remain calm and polite in these conversations, our moderators are volunteers giving up their time to keep the site running for your benefit so they deserve your respect. We will not tolerate abuse or threats directed towards the staff, so bad behaviour in a conversation is a good way to turn the warning into a ban.
If you want to appeal a ban, you may use our Contact Us facility, provide your username, reason for banning, and argument for ban reversal.