2

Yeah, yeah, yeah... low quality contributions.

I didn't think so, I quite liked JAHANVI KASHYAP contributions. They were "fresh", one or two were quite original and they all had a certain charm to them. Perhaps it could be argued her questions and her level of English were better suited to ELL, so was she ever invited to post there? I don't recall seeing any comments.

Lets see now,

  • eleven questions posted in two days.
    There have been contributors who posted a greater number of trivial questions in a shorter space of time. Is that a valid reason for suspension?

  • Four questions received minus votes for a total of nine visible downvotes.

  • Five questions upvoted for a total of twenty-four visible upvotes

  • Two questions garnered over 1,000 views. An excellent result in just two days of activity.

  • One duplicate (it happens to the best of us), with time and experience she would have learnt.

General tone of questions: polite, non confrontational, demonstrated a willingness to listen and heed to advice.

And, she's a very young woman. She's still a baby! (hmm.. maybe it's a cover, she might be a 65-year-old pervert hiding behind a pretty avatar) But I say the suspension was harsh, unless of course she had been warned that the community regarded her questions to be of low-quality. Was ELU flooded with complaints and flags about her posts? Is it possible to know the count?

It's the first time I've ever felt motivated to express my dissent on a user being suspended. Generally speaking, when users were suspended I've supported the action or not cared. This is different. I think this could have been handled much better. But admittedly, I don't know all the ins and outs of this case.

EDIT

If one visits the user's profile there is a link which leads the reader to a page called
A Day in the Penalty Box formulated by Jeff Atwood in 04-06-09. I will quote the most relevant passages.

Our general strategy is to discourage specific problem behaviors, not individual users. But sometimes you just can’t seem to reach people, and it becomes necessary to place accounts in timed suspension.

When users exhibit a pattern of either …

No effort to learn and improve over time

  • This user does not put reasonable effort into the questions they ask of the community.
  • There is little or no evidence of this user learning over time, either in the topic itself or in the community norms on the site.
  • This user intentionally spams the site with the same question or very similar questions, over and over.
  • The user never gives anything back to the community, but only takes.

Disruptive behavior

  • Other users tend to react poorly to this user’s contributions, posting negative responses in kind and generally causing a commotion.
  • There is a broad sense of community resentment over this user’s behavior, and they are frequently cited in discussion about the community.
  • There is a dark storm cloud of moderator flags that seems to follow this user around wherever they go.
  • The moderators get email complaints about this user’s behavior.
  • This user makes overtly snide, rude, or hostile comments to their fellow users.

[...] The odds of moderators contacting you with a warning first will be in direct proportion to how much evidence you’ve given us that you are, in fact, a potentially valuable and contributing member of the community. [this part is highlighted]

Depending on the severity of the problem behavior — and at the complete discretion of the moderator — your account will be placed in timed suspension for anywhere from 1 to 365 days.

This user was suspended after TWO DAYS. I don't see any evidence of unruly, discourteous behaviour. Agreed that some of her questions were of the general reference kind, although it is interesting to note that one such question on hold has received a valid answer in the comment section.

And I have no idea why I am taking such a great interest in this case. Perhaps it's because I feel the suspension appears to be unmotivated.

  • 4
    I thought it was an auto-suspend because she was getting so many downvotes on most of her questions. From my non-mod perspective, some of her questions were interesting but most were questions that were going in a trollish direction. – Mitch May 27 '14 at 12:57
  • I guess @Mitch this question was definitely aiming towards trolling before it got closed. Or maybe it was the fake smile one, or the reading of palms and foreheads... I'm flabbergasted, how can you suggest her questions were going in a trollish? direction – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 13:54
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    I'm not questioning whether her qurestions deserved to be put on hold, or closed. I'm asking, where is this consistently low-quality contribution. Obviously, I must be missing something. – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 13:57
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    Mari: I thought vaguely her questions as a whole were low quality. Yes, poor English is hard to ignore, but not the primary source of my judgement. The 'porn' and 'I'll have to kill you' questions both in the same day made it feel like rep-whoring/trolling. And as interesting as the forehead-creases-fortune telling goes, that really sounded crazy at first because I've never heard of such a thing. Those questions are exasperating because they are very presumptuous (but also might turn out to be for real). – Mitch May 27 '14 at 16:17
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    A suspension is an issue between the site, the moderators and the user involved. All a post like this does is stir up drama and malcontent. Moderators shouldn't be discussing these things in public and your "missing something" is completely expected/normal as users like you and me would hardly ever know the details behind something like this. – MrHen May 27 '14 at 17:33
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    @MrHen in the A Day in the Penalty Box link which I posted, several comments follow Atwood's article. In particular one from Shog9 QUOTE: So long as each change to a user’s status can be derived, publicly, from the history of that user’s actions, we'll each be able to view it and to make up our own minds as to whether the change was warranted or not. But lacking a clear audit trail, we've nothing to go on but your reassurance that secret information was sufficient to justify public action. That may be a good way to run a business or start a war, but it’s a terrible way to run a community. – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 18:06
  • @Mari-LouA: Unfortunately, that opinion doesn't change reality. If you want to discuss suggestions for a more open suspension process, great. I think such a discussion would be valuable. But trying to reverse engineer the reasons for a suspension from a system that has been explicitly designed to withhold that information is futile. Therefore, a post such as this one only serves to stir up drama and malcontent. – MrHen May 27 '14 at 18:26
  • @MrHen I'm trying to understand what happened. I'm expressing my concern that a user was suspended after only two days of activity. I asked for some kind of clarification, and as yet there is none. The mod responsible for the suspension is keeping his/her nose out of it (I know who suspended this non-anglophone user). May I say, that this mod has my full admiration and support, I think his/her contributions to the site are incalculable, but, we are human, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes an outside voice is all that is needed to view actions in a different light. – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 18:38
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    @Mari-LouA: Your asking for clarification is what I am referring to as only stirring up drama and malcontent. There is no clarification to be gained, here, due to the moderators' policy of not discussing user suspensions. The desire to understand what happened is noble and valid but, unfortunately, there isn't much you can do about it because a suspension is an issue between the site, the moderators and the user involved. – MrHen May 27 '14 at 19:48
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    @MrHen - I guess the question is. Was the suspension auto or mod directed? If it were at the discretion of the mod then I think that the community has a right to respond to the moderators (mis)behavior. If it is auto then we should know what triggers this. Some of your comments about drama and malcontent sounds like we are going through some sort of Catholic church pedophile conspiracy. If there is an issue and Mari-Lou wants to ask a question, then let her without throwing out that she is an issue for bringing up an issue. – RyeɃreḁd May 28 '14 at 6:51
  • @RyeɃreḁd: That isn't the question from the post. If you think the community has a right to respond to suspensions, that is a fine discussion. This is not that discussion. This is a discussion about a particular suspension and, as such, it cannot accomplish much. Your comparison to pedophile conspiracies is irrelevant rhetoric. My statement stands: This kind of post only serves to stir up drama and malcontent. If you have an issue with how suspensions are carried out and (not) discussed, then actually start a conversation about that. – MrHen May 28 '14 at 12:12
  • @medica, yes OK. But did this person receive a warning? I don't thinks so, otherwise why keep this confidential? The mod doesn't have to reveal the contents just say this person ignore my warning. After only two days the user got a suspension for low-quality contributions. I've seen worse questions being tolerated, and questions regarding the proper use of vulgar terms are not normally condemned, but one asking about porn obsession is? I understood the reason behind its closure was not because it was inappropriate but because it was classed as GR. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 4:50
  • @medica Please note second bullet point in "A Day in the Penalty Box": There is little or no evidence of this user learning over time, either in the topic itself or in the community norms on the site. Was she even given a chance? Am I so wrong in questioning this? I too received advice from a mod about my behaviour, a few objected to my tone and flagged me for being rude. I remember being and feeling terribly surprised and mortified, but AFAI could recall, I had always punctuated my comments with "sorrys" and "pleases" but I realized there are users who are more sensitive than others. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 5:05
  • @medica, I think the suspension looks bad and I wouldn't be surprised if the user didn't return. New users should be encouraged, helped, not chastised, and both our personal experiences confirm this to be true. – Mari-Lou A May 30 '14 at 5:32
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    For my part, I can say that I wrote in comments to at least two (possibly three, I can't remember) of her questions that questions about basic English grammar, which most of them were, should be asked on ELL rather than ELU. She did not acknowledge or respond to either of the comments, but continued to ask ELL questions. There were a few decent questions in between, but most were clearly ELL questions. I don't know if anyone (or how many) other than me made such comments. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jun 1 '14 at 22:03
10

The user in question was not suspended because of her fluency, or lack thereof, in English. We do not comment on specific details of suspensions. The user in question, if she so wishes, may appeal the suspension by replying to the mod message or by emailing team+english@stackexchange.com.

However, I have tried to respond to your post as best I can, though obviously, it is lacking precisely because I cannot disclose relevant facts. The summary of the situation, I think, is that the factors you are using are not the factors that we take into account when warning or suspending users.


They were "fresh", one or two were quite original and they all had a certain charm to them.

I am not sure what this is supposed to mean.

  • eleven questions posted in two days.
    There have been contributors who posted a greater number of trivial questions in a shorter space of time. Is that a valid reason for suspension?

No, but neither is it a reason not to suspend.

  • Four questions received minus votes for a total of nine visible downvotes.
  • Five questions upvoted for a total of twenty-four visible up votes

The numbers, it happens, are actually higher in both cases because of vote splits. In addition, there may be deleted posts that you have not taken into account. I would also beware of using net vote counts as a definitive metric, as users who consistently post good questions is more important than users occasionally posting exceptional questions.

  • Two questions garnered over 1,000 views. An excellent result in just two days of activity.

Views do not correlated with quality questions, and in most cases, they are inversely related. I will not comment on this specific case except to acknowledge that both of the questions you refer to have not been closed.

  • One duplicate (it happens to the best of us), with time and experience she would have learnt.

I am not sure of the relevance here, except to say that duplicate questions are not usually a cause for suspension.

General tone of questions: polite, non confrontational, demonstrated a willingness to listen and heed to advice.

That is a good sign.

And, she's a very young woman. She's still a baby! (hmm.. maybe it's a cover, she might be a 65-year-old pervert hiding behind a pretty avatar)

We do not take age into account for suspensions.

But I say the suspension was harsh, unless of course she had been warned that the community regarded her questions to be of low-quality. Was ELU flooded with complaints and flags about her posts? Is it possible to know the count?

We do not disclose specific details about users unless the user in question has so approved.

  • OK, but you haven't explained why the user was suspended. If it's not because of her inadequate English skills, the number of irrelevant posts, her inappropriate behaviour (rudeness and lack of respect), failure to do any previous research (the duplicate question), and the number of views her questions attracted is irrelevant to the matter (I'm pleased to hear that confirmed), then what was it? – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 3:57
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    @Mari-LouA The message on the user profile is what we are allowed to disclose. Beyond that, we do not discuss the specific details. The user in question has received a mod message with details; it is up to her if she wants to share. – waiwai933 May 27 '14 at 4:00
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    I should note that I have made no comment on (1) "the number of irrelevant posts", (2) "inappropriate behaviour", or (3) "failure to do any previous research". With respect to (2), I acknowledge that if she has behaved as you said, that would be a good thing. I have made no comment either way with respect to this particular user. With respect to (3), you are extrapolating from a comment about duplicate questions. Consistent failure to do any research does lead to low-quality contributions. Again, I cannot say if that is the particular cause of suspension in this instance. – waiwai933 May 27 '14 at 4:04
  • But on her account it mentions "low quality contributions" which refer to her posts. That is why I felt urged to write in the first place. She was a member for two whole days before getting suspended. Was she even given a chance to change or improve her posts? Had she been previously contacted by a mod? – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 4:04
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    I'm not sure how I can respond to that without disclosing specific detail, except to say that if a user's contributions are not low-quality, such a user will not be suspended. – waiwai933 May 27 '14 at 4:07
  • In that case she was suspended because (1) all of her posts were low-quality OR (2) Some of her posts were low-quality. I have enough rep to see split votes and deleted questions, overall she received more upvotes than downvotes, and I don't think she deleted any questions, but if she did, that's not a reason for suspending a user, on the contrary that type of behaviour is to be applauded because it shows responsibility and recognition that a question was not a good fit for ELU. By the way, thank you for your prompt replies, I do appreciate your taking the time and trouble to answer. – Mari-Lou A May 27 '14 at 4:18
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    Her questions aren't that bad. We have (repeat) users with worse average questions. We have (repeat) users with worse average answers. Who is deeming the posts being low quality? What is the baseline for what is the worst good post you can have? Would mods spot this user or would they only act if someone flagged user? I feel like this site is way over-modded at most times. Most sites let the voting take care of the issues. Here there seems to be a lot of mod intervention. – RyeɃreḁd May 27 '14 at 6:29
  • To set the record straight, I'll mention this last bit and then I'll keep quiet. You asked what relevance a duplicate question has on the matter, I pointed it out because when a user has several duplicate questions they are often accused of not doing any previous research. A person who has had maybe six, seven or more questions closed, in a relatively short space of time, might justify a mod's decision to suspend them. This is especially true if comments had been posted criticising the OP's "laziness" or exhorting them to look at similar questions posted in the past. – Mari-Lou A May 28 '14 at 18:08

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