Suspending posters

So, I’m wondering if, instead of locking threads, the mods could maybe suspend the bad actors. Three suspensions and you’re banned.

Because it always seems it’s just one or two people causing trouble, but the rest of us who are being polite get shut down, too.

It might be more work for the mods up front, but might also cost less work down the road.


We haven’t had many bad actors from what I’ve seen. Even in the case of the recent locked thread, it wasn’t that bad. I don’t think anyone needed a suspension or anything. I do wish people wouldn’t be antagonistic, but I don’t think just being antagonistic is enough of a reason to suspend someone.


Yeah. I’d say that particular thread just ended up…unpleasant. Locking the thread was probably the best solution.

I’d have a hard time envisioning outright trolls or spammers ending up here, particularly since, very wisely, politics is verboten, but, I guess one never knows.

If a Pumaman shows up, though…perhaps some extreme measures might be in order. There are limits, one knows!


Leave my imaginary boyfriend Tony Farms alone :exclamation: :exclamation:

(And I’m sorry for the thread getting locked, but most of you were great in it. Even the people who had different ideas of “going too far for a joke” than I did. So there!)


@KHalleron raises an excellent question/request.

Sometimes people need to hash things out to bury the hatchet. In that particular thread, that probably wasn’t going to happen. If the actors had been different, the subject being discussed was probably worth exploring (albeit in a more civil manner).

Now I’m wondering where the threshold lies for locking.


Jimmy I hope you’re right, I missed whatever happened but to be honest I don’t normally contribute to forums or social media in general due to the amount of toxicity but this site seems different. All I have seen here is positivity which is so refreshing and everyone I have interacted with have been so friendly and welcoming. I don’t read every thread but I fully expect this to stay upbeat.


I don’t agree with this idea. This is a discussion forum. There wouldn’t be much discussion if we agreed about everything. Topics can be discussed in a civil manner, and for the most part, I think the discussion in the other thread was pretty civil. The way the question was asked may not have been the most tactful, but the underlying point did have some merit.

Banning people for not agreeing with you, is not the route we should be taking. As long as the disagreement remains at a certain level, it’s fine.


Disagreement is valuable to discussion, but disagree politely. TIP: Avoiding the word “you” in your disagreement helps a lot.


It’s me, isn’t it?


As long as it doesn’t turn into the “board meeting” in Space Mutiny . :sweat:


Just don’t confuse bok choy with cabbage, and everything will be fine.

Angry Oh No GIF by RiffTrax


Cabbage would always be more appropriate at the Cafe’ Southern Sun. Being more compatible with ~ham~ and all… :wink:


It’s always you.


Maybe I should clarify my intent a bit better - I was actually hoping to improve discussion.

As it is now, one or two bad actors gets a thread shut down, which ENDS the discussion. I think we do need some means to keep the discussion AND be civil, and I suggested suspension instead of just outright banning people. I’m certainly not asking to suspend people for disagreeing!

I don’t think it’s fair for all of us to have to end an otherwise civil discussion because of one uncivil person.

If you have a better idea, I’d be happy to hear it.


I think if someone is here solely to, er, agitate the excrement, then yes, throw them out the airlock. There will always be people like that. But by and large I think this site can get along without the banhammer. Talking things out should always be the first approach, and if talking doesn’t work with someone, well yeah, they probably don’t belong on a place called Discourse.


I can speak to this! The thread-locking threshold lies in the space where self-moderation ceases to adequately function and circular arguments take hold. I always prefer to leave members to hash out their differences in their own ways, until people get entrenched and it becomes clear that further forward progress is unlikely.

More broadly for the rest of this post, my hope is that when people disagree – as is inevitable and common – they can do so in a civil and thoughtful way, and can recognize when it’s time to retire an argument and step away from the thread. Sometimes folks need a third party to come in and suggest that it’s time to retreat to separate corners on a particular issue, so I am always grateful to members who help out with that.

I do not want to be a big bad authority figure here. My prior experience moderating large online communities has always happened in the context of self-moderation and consensus-building. I dislike strictly policed community spaces; I think they suffocate creativity and camaraderie.

I also don’t like closing threads and am actually pretty bummed when it feels necessary, but I also realize that sometimes closing a thread can prevent a major disruption. Nor do I like banning users unless they are clearly abusive, offensive, or provocative with intent, simply because they enjoy kicking a hornets’ nest. People who are merely abrasive, awkward, or who voice unpopular opinions are not really bannable subjects until they cross a line into trolling. (Where’s the trolling line? I draw that, with much consideration for the broad opinions and expectations of forum members.)

This forum, as in most human collectives, works best if we all moderate ourselves – if the people here collaboratively build the space they want to share together. I’m here to set the boundaries and guide folks in adhering to them, but I would rather limit my need to step in as punisher to the absolute minimum required.

Of course, I welcome y’all’s feedback on this.


Incidentally, I came to this thread thinking it was going to be about recommendations on the best way to hang and display posters, like the ones from the KS campaign. I’d still sorta like to know folks opinions there, but maybe in another thread now.


For my two cents, I think you’re doing it exactly right and you’re keeping this place a friendly and welcoming place to be.


I actually thought the same thing.


I wasn’t even kidding when I asked, “Can we have a Mute option?” I honestly don’t know if that’s possible on Discourse. But I kind of consider it a gift from Heaven, where it actually exists.