9

I've been reprimanded on my home site. I believe the action is unjustified and believe I have a valid argument for such an appeal. The moderator that reprimanded me does not believe my arguments and has deleted my appeal twice. (The first time I thought it was a system error so I reposted it). Above the moderators in my community, there is a council of administrators. In my experience, it appears this council backs the moderators 100% of the time. Is there a good way to issue an appeal to such a council?

My reprimand was for "rule violations", I believe, but I haven't been told more than "rule violations". I believe that it is because I posted a spoiler to an old movie (mid-90s) on a forum dedicated to movies. I made a bad assumption that older movies were seen by other users on the forum.

3
  • 3
    Do you want to join the community again? Or do you just want your appeal to be heard out? Also, welcome on Community Building!
    – Zerotime
    May 20 '15 at 12:13
  • i'm not sure what the difference is between those two options. I am assuming that if my appeal is heard and accepted I'd get to rejoin the community.
    – NewKid
    May 21 '15 at 1:10
  • 2
    There's a difference. If your appeal gets heard out but isn't accepted, you shouldn't be surprised that you closed your entry door to that community. If you just want to make an example, it doesn't matter if your appeal is accepted or not. As it seems, you were banned for rule violation - if this is right or not, is unfortunately not your job to decide, it's the job of the administrators and moderators who can misjudge by getting led by personal and emotional things.
    – Zerotime
    May 21 '15 at 7:58
11

I can't speak to your situation specifically, as each community has their own policies for appeals. They also have their own political structure and ways of working within that structure to get what you want. I can, however, give you some guidelines that I have utilized in my community in the past.


  • Post in complete sentences, using mostly correct English. They probably are not going to mark you off for simple spelling mistakes, but many are not going to read your post if it looks like you typed it from your phone to your teenage friend. Plus, you have more than 140 characters. There is no reason to jam the appeal into a single tweet sized message.
  • Stay polite. If you lose your cool, it's much less likely we are going to want to work with you. Remember, this is an online community. Your world isn't going to end if the appeal is not successful.
  • Explain why you think your ban was inappropriate. Don't ramble. Don't write a novel. Make this short and to the point.
  • Don't lie or make excuses. You've admitted here that you made a mistake. Do the same there. Honesty is going to hurt you a lot less than getting caught in a lie.
  • Answer questions from the admins. It's entirely possible you didn't provide a crucial bit of information or they need to wait for portions of their appeals policy to kick in (ie. the banning admin needs to speak up, you need to wait X days after an appeal, etc). If an administrator asks you a question, you should probably answer it. When you do so, follow the first two bullet points above.

It is entirely possible that your appeal may still be denied. Consider your reaction after a denial as well. If you fly off the handle and throw up insults at the admins, the community, and family members of the community, you'd burnt every bridge you have left and then tossed some gasoline on the flames. If, however, you accept the ban and thank them for their time (if you are open to being that considerate) and fade into the internet, there is a chance you may be able to appeal again at a later date.

From my experience, if I forget who you are because you just faded away there is a much higher likelihood you'll be allowed back at some point in the future. If I remember you because you did or said something insulting after a failed appeal, I'm not that inclined to support you returning later.

4

The moderator that reprimanded me does not believe my arguments and has deleted my appeal twice.

That alone is some dark stuff! Two cases:

  • Heavy handed moderator that can't take criticism with admins that don't care
  • Heavy handed moderator that can't take criticism with admins that aren't aware

In the first scenario, it's not a good community to hang around with. The second scenario, you will probably get what you want or some sort of adjustments will be made.

Appealing has is consequences, so make sure it is in your best interests. Personally, I would appeal if you don't mind the chance of getting kicked out for good. Even with tactics like @Andy mentioned, you might anger the admins (especially in some gaming communities) and get punished. You'll have to look at your values and decide if the risk is worth the possible reward. Also make sure that this is something that warrants the look of an admin. If it's a small thing that you can easily forget about, just move on as it's a safer option (and carefully note this/collect evidence if this moderator does a similar thing).

If you do appeal, choose a type of direct contact so that the moderator won't know. If needed, you can get the help of another moderator to ensure that this situation is handled correctly.

1

My normal course of action in such a situation typically would be:

  • Waiting a bit to let myself and the moderator team calm down. Probably a couple of days, probably a couple of weeks, probably longer. Not just bombard the team with unban requests the day after, it doesn't work.
  • Filing an unban appeal. Make it written in good language, keep calm while writing it, don't make it too short or too long. I would say, make it slightly longer than a normal long post in your community, but not too much.
  • Waiting again to reread the appeal and check if something is wrong. When mistakes are corrected, send it directly to the higher figure if the moderator deletes your appeals. Do not make it public, do not try to make a drama -- well, unless your goal is drama and not getting unbanned.
  • If you are not listened to, step back and wait for longer. Probably a couple of months. Then return and try yourself again. If it doesn't work either, try after a year. If it doesn't work again... well, this community really doesn't want to have you.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.