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A couple of times I noticed the rep next to a user's name was 1, for users I knew are very active, and should have a lot more. So I go look at their account and it shows

enter image description here

or a similar message. Shouldn't this be more private? It's none of my business, but the "1 rep" only attracts attention.

Suggestion: show user's regular rep also during suspension periods.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Why would you like to have it more discrete? I also think it's a SE feature, you may try in meta.so \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Jun 15 '12 at 9:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ More infos: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/a-day-in-the-penalty-box (disclaimer: it may not answer your question) \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Jun 15 '12 at 9:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the point is that users in the penalty box are non-people for the duration, so the 1 rep moves them to the bottom of the user list down below the noise level. Besides nosy people like me want to know all the gossip and jucy details. I want to not only see that the user is suspended, but exactly what he did, links to the infractions, whether he steals candy from small children, tortues small furry animals on the side, etc. Bring back the public stocks and pillary in front of the court house with a well stocked box of rotten fruits! \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 15 '12 at 12:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - I read that moderators or staff never will give details on reasons for suspension. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 15 '12 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, Well I am wrong then. My bad. I honestly have never been asked because I have only suspended a couple with reasons the entire community knew \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk - I can't seem to find the reference right now, but I'll post a link here when I do. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 15 '12 at 13:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, It sounds like something that is probably true. Sorry, as happened recently with a suspension we had to give we spent a long time taking action and interacting with others because we have almost 0 experience with this mechanic on the site. We have been relatively blessed with few issues like this. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 13:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, Let me know if this answer is what you are looking for or if I misunderstood the question you are asking. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, So, I think I may not be answering your question here, or you just feel it should be completely invisible. What are you thinking here? I feel I have explained the reason well but I can take a more direct path at just the suggestion. I answered with all of this because I thought the process was maybe no clear enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 17 '12 at 3:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regarding the question of "being anyone's business" and "how much should be said", also see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/23385/…. \$\endgroup\$ – balpha Jun 19 '12 at 8:38
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This is actually described in the link given in comments. A time suspension is for


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.

This will result in a timed suspension. Speaking as a moderator on site we do not like doing this. The only thing I dislike more is when a user decides to delete their account. Issues should be resolved and the number of productive members should always increase.

As to the results of this,


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. That means:

  • Your account will be locked at 1 reputation.
  • Your user page will have a visual indication that you are in timed suspension, and for how long.
  • You will be unable to vote, ask, answer, or comment.

And as one of our other users pointed out, they are moved down to 1 rep, you cannot find them easily in the user page anymore, their signature everywhere shows them with the lowest rep possible and they are not able to take part in the site beyond watching. I consider this part of both allowing the user to cool-down, which is the common reason we give a 1-day suspension, or making the results of such behavior more clear, but this is a person thought. The length of suspension tools have some automated mechanics that are not worth expanding on but we have a relatively clear cut way of progressing with problem users. Any interesting point that is made in the blog post.


If we think you are reachable, and the behavior is one that we feel can change, we will try to warn you via email first when there are behavior problems — so that we can address them before they become deeper problems. But I make no guarantees; the community moderators are very, very busy and there are a lot of things that need their attention. 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.


And the blog post shows a picture for what they mean by penalty box, which is a public display of the issue. The 1 on your account is clearly out of place, you have answers with upvotes(we hope) but your account only shows a 1. Image of someone sitting with a sign saying bad

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I had already read it, but thanks for taking the trouble to replicate it here. But my question is more of a suggestion: show the user's regular rep under questions and answers. It will spoil Olin's curiosity, as it won't draw attention to that user. You know from whose user page I took the screenshot, and recently there was another one, I guess you also know whom I'm talking about. In both cases it's none of my business but the "1" simply draws more attention than needed. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 15 '12 at 14:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, I think it is similar to the picture in the blog, a clear display of your error. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, only have seen 2? I think we have had 5 or 6. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 14:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I thought we behaved better than that. I don't know everyone here, so I don't know if "1" is a new user or a suspended one, except for a small group of people I follow closer. And that's how this one drew my attention. The other one is famous enough to have his own question about it here. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 15 '12 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, We have only ever had one suspension that was greater then 1 day to my knowledge. And I think the question you refer to was anonymized. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 14:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's exactly my point! I agree with the anonymization (is that a word?), so why not extend it to the questions pages? \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 15 '12 at 14:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh, The user is suspended, when that is over the account shows nothing out of the ordinary for non-moderators, but again, meta is for discussing site issues, not lynching users. I did receive complements from the SE managers, they did not expect such kind and proper answers on meta for a user of that degree of problem. They said everyone was very professional, but that we should remove the users information.(non SE manager said that actually, but I did it and no comments where made on that decision) \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 15 '12 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @stevenvh: This is a community, so it is our business. Three important reasons for making punishments public, just like in the real word are 1: It puts everyone on notice that the rules are enforced and what kind of infractions result in what kind of punishment. 2: It lets everyone see that the rules are enforced fairly and evenly (hopefully). People can't be quitely sent off to Siberia. 3: It lets those that have been bothered or hurt by the bad behavior know that their problems were addressed, making them less likely to become vigilantes. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Jun 15 '12 at 17:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - A policeman and two others gain access to the house across the street. The two others are a locksmith and a bailiff. Obviously my neighbor is mixed up in something. The town I live in is also a community. It's probably that I'm not as nosy as you are ;-), but I'm not going to ask that policeman whether my neighbor didn't pay his rent or his taxes. Our society has installed functions for this: police, justice. I hate to see this going to street justice, because then witch hunts are just around the corner. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 16 '12 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - actually, I'm nosy too (I like to call it "curious", a good property of a design engineer), but I try to control it :-) \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 16 '12 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Witch hunts are not tolerated, but you can find out whom goes to jail, when a real punishment is doled out you can see the results. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Jun 16 '12 at 16:30

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