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I'm not worried about this user specifically, if they did something that got them in trouble then so be it. But what sparked this was a discussion I was having with someone about their answer, when suddenly they stopped responding and their rep now shows as 1. I was a little confused, because the question itself had a good number of upvotes. I checked out their profile, and in fact they seem to have a very positive reputation overall, on many sites, but right there at the top is the notice of a 6-day suspension "to cool down".

After reading through the link provided in the suspension I was still confused, because like I said, they seemed to be contributing positively across many sites, not exhibiting (as far as I could see, anyways) the negative behavior that qualifies for a suspension.

I guess I'm just confused how that can happen. I'm not trying to challenge the ruling or the rules themselves, but I'd like a little insight into how someone can be a good contributor but still run afoul of the system so profoundly as to get a heavy slap into the sin bin? Are there other well-known examples of it? Should I be worried about my own behavior if I can't identify what was bad about someone else's?

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    People have their ups and downs. Even great contributors are people. Exact details of a suspension will never be made public by the moderators. – NVZ Jan 26 '18 at 13:28
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We don't consider a user's performance on other sites when suspending them, only this site. A moderator-issued suspension is limited to one site, so does not impact their participation elsewhere on the network (minor caveat - if they have their chat parent set to the site they're suspended on, they can't use chat in any rooms on the server they're on, regardless of the site that owns the chat room).

It is not uncommon for even long-time, high network-reputation users to join a new site and hit a rough patch, particularly a site like IPS where things can be more subjective. Remember that you may not be seeing what we do. Many posts and comments may have been removed if they fail to comply with our "Be nice" rules or expectations for answers and the user's suspension may have nothing to do with the interaction you were having with them.

A user who is being disrespectful of others or argumentative or acting in a way otherwise unacceptable will get a time out. Having a bunch of reputation - whether on this site or on other sites - doesn't add a layer of protection... in fact it might even cause us to act more quickly. A new user may not have the network knowledge of what is acceptable but a longtime user should. There are other factors we consider but we do it on a case-by-case basis.

Please do note, we don't use these tools lightly. You have no reason for concern. Except in extreme cases, we generally send a warning before an outright suspension.

There's many examples across the network that I've run into of high-reputation users being suspended for a week, month or even for upwards of a year. We don't publicly discuss suspensions of specific users unless they bring it up publicly first and ask for an explanation.

  • That makes sense, I hadn't considered that public signs of bad behavior have likely been removed. I surely didn't mean to imply that the mods use those tools lightly, I figured there was a good reason for it. – thanby Jan 26 '18 at 16:17
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    It's OK. I wasn't implying that you were. I try to cover a broad base when responding to things like this. It's always possible that we'll get future questions here that will eventually be closed as a duplicate and some of them may be more accusatory than your question. I appreciate your neutrality in your query. – Catija Jan 26 '18 at 16:18
  • Do note that if one is suspended, it does impact them on other network sites in that they can't nominate themselves as moderator candidates during the suspension and for a period of one year after the suspension ends. – gparyani Dec 11 '18 at 5:37
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Reasons for suspensions are never discussed publicly when not raised by the suspended person, and so obviously only once the suspension has ended (usually to get a better insight for the reason or because the suspended user think it could be worthwhile for the community to show it on meta).

Everyone has their ups and downs. Sometimes even high reputation users get mad for some reasons like downvotes or heated comments.

The suspension goal is to cut-off bad behaviors quickly and to let people return later feeling better and without raising a sign of shame over their heads. The post linked above discusses it in detail, but listing examples won't be possible.

Concerning your own behavior, if you were part of this user's recent activity that lead to their suspension and if you're not suspended yourself, then you would have probably got a moderator message telling you the reasons and what is not OK. According to this question I suspect this is not the case and you should not worry.

  • Thank you for the explanation and reassurance, that makes a lot of sense. – thanby Jan 26 '18 at 16:20
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There will usually be an elliptical reference to the offense, "This account has been suspended X days in order to cool down." That particular notice suggests that they got into a "flaming war" with someone. Sometimes the reference will be to "voting irregularities" (e.g., using a sock puppet).

The exact reason will not be disclosed but people who know the background can usually guess. In this case, "warm" discussions with you may have been reflected in "hot" discussions (of the wrong kind) with someone else.

In all but the most egregious cases, there will have been one more warnings before the suspension. If you have not received a warning, it's unlikely that you need to worry about a suspension.

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