BANNING USERS AND DEALING WITH CHAOS
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in Problem Users for your staff to see. When you share all of this informa-
tion—when your staff members see everything that you see—they are more
likely to support you on the ban. Honesty is a great thing.
Lifting a Ban
You don’t want to be 100 percent against lifting a ban. It all
depends on the situation. If the user was just a total idiot who treated the
community, you, and/or your staff like a piece of trash, you probably never
want to see him again. If he did something that was very harsh and very
serious, it may not be a good idea to lift his ban. Assuming the ban is revers-
ible, the main thing that you need to see from a user is an expression of guilt
or remorse and an apology. If he realizes he did something wrong and he’s
sorry for doing it, it may be worth considering depending on the situation
surrounding his ban. On the other hand, if he says something like, ‘‘I didn’t
do anything wrong, unban me,’’ he can go to some other community, because
you don’t really want him.
I rarely lift a ban, but it has happened. I think, in a majority of cases, I
have not had to ban the person again. But when it has happened, I have never
lifted the ban. That’s not to say it won’t ever happen. If someone gets himself
banned twice, chances are it is for the best.
Banning Meth ods
In this section, I talk about the actual banning of a user through your commu-
nity software and other methods.
Banning Usernames
Banning the username is, of course, a requirement
and the most basic type of ban. The member may just sign up again, but the
username is her identity on your site and should, as such, be the first thing
you ban. Yes, she may be able to create a new account, but that cannot stop
you from banning people.
Temporary Bans
Temporary bans expire after a specified amount of time.
On communities that utilize this function, it’s usually used as a bit of a
cooling-off period or a time out. I don’t recommend it. I find that, in a lot of
people, being banned will just trigger bad blood and won’t be used as a time

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