This post is addressed at the moderators.

In my 11 years on SU I have been suspended two times for one week at a time, for reasons that still today leave me perplexed.

My first suspension was when I posted a quote-only answer. This was defined by a moderator as ... "plagiarism" (for an accredited quote?). There are hundreds of quote-only answers on SU for which I suspect no one was ever suspended, even some recent ones by moderators ...

In one message addressed to me by a moderator, there is perhaps a hint:

As a high reputation user - for that matter, the highest reputation user on the site your actions set an example for the other users on the site.

Reputation adds to my visibility on SU, but it seems like it also attracts sanctions.

My second suspension happened just now, and is for voting the migration of a post to the wrong SE site. Unlike the other suspensions, the moderator has chosen to stay anonymous (why?). It anyway needed 4 more identical votes to have any effect, which didn't happen. Why such an extreme sanction for an action that didn't matter is beyond my understanding, unless the highest-reputed user is not allowed any mistake?

I would like to ask the moderators to please answer my following questions:

  1. How many users or moderators on SU were suspended for a week because of a quote-only answer?
  2. How many users on SU were suspended for a week because of a wrong close-migrate vote?
  3. Can just any action of myself (or others) be used as a reason for immediate suspension if a moderator disagrees with it, even if done in good faith? No rules apply?
  4. Why are immediate suspensions done without warning for rules that were never published in the Help and that in fact no one is aware that they exist, such as sanctions for wrong votes?
  5. Before immediate suspension, isn't a prior warning more in the spirit of "be nice"? Shouldn't education be preferable to sanctions?
  6. Why in SU are the names of moderators listed for all their actions, except for suspensions?

(Please don't mention my reputation in your answer - reputation does not confer any super-geek powers or abilities.)

I am a very active member of SU, but there is a problem with that, if SU has become a place where "Anything you do, can, and may be used against you".

I figure I will receive some negative answers and hear some bad things about myself, but I'm willing to suffer through it in the hope of getting some meaningful answers for my above questions.

EDIT : I understand that I'll not be getting any answers, but I will keep on protesting for being suspended for reasons that I still have difficulty in believing that anyone could be suspended for.

Although I have asked that my reputation not be the base for an answer, this (only) moderator continues with his these that justifies all actions: As the highest-reputation user I should serve as a shining example, and he has taken upon himself the task of beating me into perfection.

I don't agree - everyone should be equal before the law, even on SU. Reputation does not make me, or anyone, into more than human. Besides, this is a really lousy excuse for his actions.

  • 2
    You mention you had an answer deleted for plagiarism but didn't provide that example.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 11:27
  • @Ramhound: Here is the link. I was in the middle of a discussion with the poster and offered him tools that made it clear that the disk is dead, when that moderator deleted my answer and got the bounty by default. This was the second time he did it to me (I lost the first one), so I published this Meta post, was much reviled (as usual), but at least no more deleted answers.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 11:13
  • @harrymc - This was the answer that was deleted. I see no evidence, that answer was deleted for plagiarism, but I didn’t bother copying and pasting a phrase from the answer from the first revision
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 20, 2020 at 11:41

2 Answers 2


Reviewing your history

In my 11 years on SU I have been suspended three times for one week at a time, for reasons that still today leave me perplexed.

This is incorrect, there have been 2 suspensions and 4 mod messages without suspensions. Where possible, these mod messages are designed to try to address some form of negative behaviour and go into details. Both suspensions were standard mod messages, and are covered in the rules. So we certainly do try to remind you when we feel you've fallen short of the standards we expect.

And well, as a high rep user myself, I feel that part of my obligation to the community goes beyond simply accumulating reputation. I try to set a good example, and mentor and help users.

Part of this comes with using the powers you have as a high reputation user responsibly - This of course includes posting quality answers, voting responsibly and so on.

So, we'll continue to remind you where needed about actions that concern us. We're not going to give you extra slack, or treat you more harshly simply because you're a high reputation user. We'll be disappointed if you don't live up to the expectations we have of our #1 user, and cheer you on when you do.

As far as we're concerned though, you get treated exactly the same.

  • So no answers to my questions?
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 13:50
  • 3
    I can't reasonably find or share stats for 1 and 2. 3 and 4 are based on an incorrect premise. 5, you clearly got... 6... I think its on main meta somewhere, but it protects mods from harassment, and has been a thing for years.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 13:57
  • 2
    There have been 2 suspensions and 4 other moderator messages. All such events are recorded on your account back to the day you joined Super User.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 16:30
  • Perhaps the first one was partial, for reviewing only. Direct question: Were you behind my suspension?
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 18:22
  • 1
    We will not answer that.Suspensions and mod messages are anonymous for a reason
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 20:55
  • I take this as a "Yes". I would like to clear the air between us, but perhaps not in public. If you would like to email me to my SU address (put your moniker in the subject), I guarantee that I will not misuse it. I think that this has gone on for too many years and it's time to stop, especially in these difficult times. I prefer this rather than escalating the issue to SE.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 8:24
  • We don't do personal contacts. If you feel hard done by our actions - we are fine with escalation to SO/SE. If you did get review banned it was automated and had nothing to do with us.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 14:05
  • As you like. If my first suspension was somehow wiped off the books, I'll not be mentioning it.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 17:48
  • 1
    @Giacomo1968: Having a moderator as an active enemy is difficult. I have suffered it for years in quiet, hoping for it to stop, but I'll stay quiet no longer. The above is no answer, because it doesn't explain why I'm the only one being punished heavily for "offenses" that everyone does, even moderators, and with never a warning. The list in my post is just the most damning actions by that moderator, but there is more, much more.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 6:31
  • @JourneymanGeek: I prefer to avoid an open conflict. There will be no complaint if you rewrite your answer with an apology and state that you'll treat me only according to the rules in the Help. You may of course in the future advise me of errors that I do, and I'll always listen willingly.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 13:56
  • I'm entirely unsure how this isn't an open conflict, nor is there any reason to apologise or to treat you any differently from any other user.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Oct 14, 2020 at 14:05
  • 2
    @harrymc - Where are all these examples of abuse from the moderators? Thankfully, there is a very active group of users, who all can see deleted answers/questions. However, I have felt personally attacked by you several times (based entirely on commentary you submitted), but my only crime was downvoting one of your answers. The point of that particular commentary, is you do seem to be openly hostile in this situation, but I can't determine if just because you are one edge (due to unknown backstory) or if it's just plain hostility.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 11:25
  • @Ramhound: I thought we had settled our mutual differences. If I'm wrong, then here is not the place for it.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 12:15
  • I have never had a problem with you. At times, I have felt that wasn't mutual.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 13:13
  • @Ramhound: Glad to hear that.
    – harrymc
    Commented Oct 15, 2020 at 19:42

I have had issues here too and have learned something from reading Meta posts about suspensions such as this. Let me put my two cents.

You have been suspended without warning for making one mistake. Alright, it was said you have been suspended and warned in the past, however those were separate events that had nothing to do with this one mistake. How can I know this? I cannot. This is simply applying the presumption of innocence. But to weight to this impression, Gparyani has accurately asked the moderator:

The user was (in your opinion validly) suspended for casting an incorrect migration close vote. Since you didn't mention so in your answer, were there other concerns at play, other than the incorrect close vote, which led to the suspension?

but had no reply.

It looks like at Super User the bar is set too high on contributors. To be honest, I like much better the opposite metaphor, that the bar is set too low, low enough that it is all too easy to overlook it and trip despite one's best efforts.

I'm sorry to hear the treatment you receive. Your punishment was clearly excessive. I was going to suggest you to settle in some other community, but peeking into your profile, it is evident that the subjects you like best are mostly only on-topic at Super User. So my suggestion is: Keep answering and helping users that come by, but stop contributing to review queues. It is an horrible feeling to try to help and be chastised. Spare yourself of that feeling.


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