If You Have Been Post Banned...

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posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 10:30 PM
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Don't panic! It's not the end of the world.


Post bans (or "PBs" in mod lingo) are available to moderators as a tool intended to help us put a stop to problem behavior and get a member's attention.

Post bans are private, there is no point cost or other penalty associated with them, and all post bans are temporary in nature.

Members who are post banned can still send and receive U2Us and, aside from making posts, can still use their accounts normally.

So in many respects post bans are an ideal way to handle what can otherwise become a big mess, and because of their benign nature, I am finding myself using them more often as a way to work with members without hitting them with a string of warnings or other punitive measures.

How Post Bans Are Used

Any moderator can post ban an account, but only senior staff members -- super mods and admins -- can lift them. This gives the senior staff an opportunity to review a member's account before lifting the ban.

As a prerequisite for lifting a post ban, members are usually asked to review and agree to honor the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use.

This is done to ensure that the member understands what is expected and to eliminate ignorance of the T&C as an excuse for further misconduct.

What To Do If You're Post Banned

If you should be post banned, first take a few deep breaths and relax. Then check your U2U Inbox in the Member Center.

You should see a message indicating that you have been post banned and who initiated it. In most cases, you will also receive a message from the staff member who applied the ban explaining why it was done.

The best thing to do is discuss the issue with that staff member and see if you can work things out.

If not, you are entitled to have the matter reviewed by the senior staff, and are always welcome to use the Complain feature to request such a review.

Bear in mind, however, that the senior staff routinely reviews post bans as a matter of course.

"Step Out Of The Car, Please"

Though it sounds ominous, being post banned is much like being pulled over for a traffic violation.

We pull you over (post ban), run the plates (review your post history), issue a citation if we see the need (give a warning), make sure you understand the law (review the T&C) and -- if you agree to respect the law (i.e., don't cuss out the cop) -- send you on your way.

Unlike a real life traffic stop, other members can't see it and don't ever need to know it happened.

The goal is not to punish or humiliate members, but encourage them to honor the T&C.

In cases where a post ban can help a member come around without the need for a major scene, I encourage moderators to use them.

Meanwhile, I encourage any member who may be post banned to realize that we do this to get your attention and help you, not harass or threaten you, and we hope you won't take it the wrong way.

I welcome any and all questions you may have about post bans and related moderator actions.




[edit on 7/26/2006 by Majic]




posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 10:37 PM
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Majic, well said and well done.

You have really taken control of PTS and made this an equal to BTS and ATS. Glad to see it.




posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 10:38 PM
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I get the feeling you'll be using this??


Thank you for that explanation, Magic- i hope to dodge the bullett.



posted on Jul, 26 2006 @ 11:14 PM
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Just to clear up any misunderstandings, post bans are not a new function, nor are they a PTS-only function, they've been a sparingly-used staff tool since Adam was a pup. Majic is simply making things a little more transparent for the sake of greater understanding in regards to some staff actions/protocol.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 01:04 PM
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Majic has given a very good explanation as to the Post Ban feature, you get my compliments.

It has been around for a while, and I've accidentally post-banned members (and staff
) on a few occasions....



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 01:43 PM
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Originally posted by SimonGray and I've accidentally post-banned members (and staff
) on a few occasions....


TC syndrome.




Yeah, it's no biggie.

Definitely survivable, for those that truly wish to remain a member.


Great post Majic!

but a bit long-winded, as usual.


edit = typo.


[edit on 7/27/2006 by Mechanic 32]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 02:42 PM
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Strike Up The Banned

Perish the thought that I should not be long-winded.


As has been pointed out, post bans are nothing new. However, I want to raise awareness of them for good reason: I'm planning to use them a lot more.

A small minority of members are causing a large majority of trouble. This hurts everyone, including them, by diminishing the quality of discussion in our forums.

"Take Back ATS" campaigns are something of a tradition, of course, and "crackdowns" tend to come and go.

But this time I'm looking for something different. This isn't temporary.

I want to raise the bar, and keep it raised.

Banned On The Run

The AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use are the standard, and members must meet that standard or face the consequences.

The consequences have always been the same, but I want to speed up the process by confronting problem members proactively before they start piling up warn flags and polluting the forums with insults, off-topic nonsense and dramatic, public tirades about how they have been wronged by the evil and oppressive ATS staff.

I want to put a stop to that. It's a waste of our precious time and an offense to our valued members who come here to discuss the issues.

We as staff members have agreed to enforce the T&C, and all members have agreed to honor them.

The vast majority of members have nothing to worry about. This is not about shooting people for jaywalking or clubbing them for flying off the handle now and then.

We're only human, and that's fine.

Rather, members with habitual and persistent problems -- most notably a pattern of abuse toward other members -- will be given a chance to get on board before the train leaves the station.

Keeping The Dream Alive

I'm trying not to be too dramatic about it, because this isn't a one-time shot, but a gradual revolution.

Even I know that talk is cheap, which is why I've already started post-banning and talking to some members, and will keep doing it indefinitely without too much public fanfare or drama.

I consider removing problem members to be an ongoing duty of mine, and am going to great lengths to ensure that I never persecute members for their opinions.

I have not and never will ban any member except for egregious, habitual or deliberate violations of the T&C. So when the time comes, I can ban with a clear conscience -- and to date, I don't regret a single ban I've imposed.

As for concerns about public awareness, members who get "pulled over" for rudeness or other habitual T&C violations will be given every opportunity to understand what's going on.


I'm fanatical about this because we deserve forums where any member can express an honest opinion without being abused for it.

Members who share and support this goal will get the royal treatment -- the absolute best our forums have to offer.

As for the rest, I wish them well, wherever their paths may take them.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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like with government, reaxed rules don't work well in large communities.

glad to see a determination for "no waffleing"



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 04:28 PM
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Waffle Ironing


Originally posted by jlc163
like with government, reaxed rules don't work well in large communities.

glad to see a determination for "no waffleing"

It's tricky, because staff members are still members, and we try to cut our fellow members slack wherever we can.

We make honest mistakes, and we know other members do too. We don't want to punish people for being human, so we tend to err on the side of caution.

So when I come down on someone like a ton of bricks, it's not for an honest mistake, but for a pattern of misconduct.

Even then, however, sometimes people just don't know better. :shk:

Joining Our Leet Krew

ATS is a demanding and complex environment. We expect a lot from our members. There are a lot of rules. We understand it takes a while to get used to the ATS culture, and that all this can be quite intimidating.

So if newer members start off on the wrong foot, we try to give them a chance to get up to speed (by reading and agreeing to the T&C) and get comfortable with a community where very few people agree on anything.

But any member who openly expresses contempt for the T&C or the ATS community is late for the ban hammer.

If people really don't like it here but can't quite bring themselves to leave on their own, we're willing to help them on their way to a better place.


Note For Members Currently On Post Bans

Just a reminder for those whom I or other mods have PB'd and who might be "in limbo": please don't be afraid to ask for your PB to be lifted!

We try to avoid it, but sometimes members fall through the cracks and may stay in a post ban status for longer than expected or desired.

If this happens, please do not despair! Submit a complaint explaining your situation. For speedier service, be sure to include a statement to this effect:

"I have read and agree to honor the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use."

Most senior staffers, including me, will not lift a post ban until we are confident that you understand the rules and agree to them.

Once we're satisfied that you're sincere, however, we really do want to help you give it another shot.

We need to be firm, but we try to be fair.



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 04:46 PM
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This is not about shooting people for jaywalking or clubbing them for flying off the handle now and then.


I can't shoot jaywalkers? Man! I guess I better fix those reports...


Seriously though.

Like everyone else, I can be a real jerk sometimes, especially when I have had one of those days. And my one of those days are usually "doozies."

So Majic, you will tell us we are being a jerk first before PBing us wont you?

Usually if I take a minute to calm down and gather any coherent thoughts I may have left, I stop being the Jerk.

Semper



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 05:49 PM
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Crossing Signal


Originally posted by semperfortis
So Majic, you will tell us we are being a jerk first before PBing us wont you?

No promises!


Well actually, we usually try to calm members down first, and the favorite weapon in every mod's arsenal is the U2U.

I'm encouraging mods to try to work with members via U2Us and solve little problems before they become big problems.

But often there's no advance warning. Members often ignore U2Us or go along being jerks without us catching it early enough, and far too often moderators find themselves in the middle of a big mess as soon as they discover it.

When that happens, their first priority is to put out flames and get threads back on topic.

Thus it stands to reason that when a mod does this and asks for cooperation from members, cooperation is the way to go.


Choke Hold Authorized

Particularly because I've asked mods to immediately post ban members who give them static for doing their jobs.

No arguing, no backtalk. Just *BOOM* post ban.

Give a mod grief and expect a post ban.

Once a post ban has been applied, it's up to the senior staff to lift it. That's our primary duty as super moderators: to support the moderator staff.

We're their backup. We cover them when the going gets hot.

So when a member starts into it with a mod, I want that to end immediately, and am happy to take over and try to work things out.

I want moderators to spend their time moderating, and I have precious little patience for members who think it's okay to abuse the staff.


Fire Control

All this no doubt sounds ominous, but in practice, only a very small number of members need to worry about ever running afoul of the staff, and it's rarely a surprise when they do.

Before permanently banning anyone, I'm careful to review the member's post history, give the member a chance to explain and recant, and if I decide a member needs to be permanently banned, I routinely consult with my fellow staff members before I pull the trigger.

So it's not like we're going around banning people in some sort of indiscriminate rage.

Nor do we ban people who, when confronted, are clearly not out to do anything wrong.

The target of my ire is a very specific set of unacceptable behaviors, and I'm not messing around.

I will see them gone.

But the carrot behind the stick is the opportunity for us to really breathe easier when we log in to ATS.

I want members to be happy here, want them to keep coming back, and want them to feel free to express their honest opinions without fear of being abused.

No more, no less.




[edit on 7/27/2006 by Majic]



posted on Jul, 27 2006 @ 05:53 PM
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There’s such a thing as Post Banning? Err... how did I manage to not get one of those? Oh that's right, I got 4 red warning stickers instead.


But uh, yeah, it does take a little time to get used to ATS, I can speak from experience that when you first join and you start arguing with another member about a topic you feel strongly on its easy to "lose it". And that's a shame because you just might lose all the good things ATS has to offer in the process, so watch out for that.

[edit on 27-7-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jul, 28 2006 @ 04:23 PM
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Ah, finally, I can relax knowing super mods are going to post ban people who are being very, very annoying...

Now if only there was a way to stop people who don't know what their talking about replying to a thread where everyone in it knows what's going on, then, only then will I be eternally happy... *sigh* When I joined last year, there were so many competent members here, and all of them knew what was going on in the aliens and ufo's section of this forum. Now... Alot of the newer people to the site HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT... *sigh* Oh well... I guess we can't have everything we want...

Nice job by the way Majic, keep it coming...



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 08:14 AM
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can anyone hear me?
I am fixing to leave to go see TOOL!

hello?



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 08:15 AM
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Oh noes the police state is taking over ATS
.But seriously we already have GI then why have post bans?



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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Post Haste


Originally posted by coolheretic
But seriously we already have GI then why have post bans?

Members on Global Ignore can still post, and even though members cannot see posts made under GI, the posts are still there and will appear when the GI is lifted.

Particularly in cases where a member is spamming (post flooding), posting inappropriate material or otherwise violating the T&C, we need to be able to stop it.

After all, we're the ones who have to clean it up. If we couldn't stop members from spamming bad posts, we would be quickly overwhelmed.

Post Bans allow us to get control of a situation quickly and reduce the amount of cleanup we have to do when multiple posts or chronic problem behavior are involved.

They also give members a strong incentive to respond to staff U2Us and hopefully work things out.



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 03:15 PM
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posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 03:32 PM
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A question to the staff:

A member is posting in a manner that is detrimental to the board. Does the staff look for a determining factor to decide if he is PB'd or GI'd? I guess Spamming &/or Flooding would require a PB since you would need to clean it up but is this the only case? Seems for some issues both can be used. Is one frowned upon more than the other?

Grant it, action has to be taken. Is there a blanket rule for PB or GI, or is it a case by case scenario.

Other than spamming, I'm just curious to see how they differ from one another.



posted on Sep, 10 2006 @ 03:47 PM
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The Human Touch


Originally posted by chissler
Is there a blanket rule for PB or GI, or is it a case by case scenario.

As with most things, it's a matter of moderator discretion, and the best course of action is always dependent on the circumstances.

Each mod has a different style -- and this is encouraged -- because when it comes to dealing with people, one size does not fit all.

In every case where moderator action is taken, however, it must be justified by the T&C.

We have no business applying a GI or PB unless a clear T&C violation has occurred, and even in such cases, our goal is to solve problems in the most constructive way we can.



posted on Sep, 11 2006 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
*[rest of quote of original post removed]*

Meanwhile, I encourage any member who may be post banned to realize that we do this to get your attention and help you, not harass or threaten you, and we hope you won't take it the wrong way.

I welcome any and all questions you may have about post bans and related moderator actions.

Posiblity number 1

You forgot to mention in what case you get post baned exactly, what will that be, bad languege, posting excesive on one post, not quoting correctly?
I personaly find this rule abusive, it's sort of the patriot act of ATS if you like to call it that, but that is not my problem, if you want to go at it go ahead, all that money earned from publicity by advertisement will go down once users get sic of too many rules, you exist because we exist, in fact you got to thank users that ATS is earning money, no users no intrest in advertising with ATS, because firms advertise with ATS because it has havy trafic, thats where the earnings come from, forums survive on that.
But go ahead make your little police state on ATS and you will see a drop in users.
I agree with a few rules, no insults, no bad languege, but to give moderators power to post ban a user because he quoted wrong on something, or because he has gone oevr the top and heated up once is ridicules.
Post ban is just like baning a user, If some one wants to see the forum and it's content he can do so with out signing up, the only reason a user joins ats is to post, once he cant do that he is like baned, I dont think any user here on ATS joins to send u2us.
Remember ATS you exist because we post here
with out us there is no $$$$$$$$
Companies usualy chose sites by trafic ranking and decide to advertise with sites by that criteria.


Posibility number 2
You are a govermental site and you want to balance the number of users conspiracyVS official story suporters.
Since post ban only involves just ban posting, we could work like the worker's union and go on stike, how is that
, there is no rule to prevent us from doing that




[edit on 11-9-2006 by pepsi78]

(Mod edit: Please Don't Quote Entire Posts --Majic)


[edit on 9/11/2006 by Majic]





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