My question comes from seeing this on some user's profile:

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I was previously aware that one could get suspended if one breaks the Code of Conduct, behaves rudely, posts spam, etc., but never have I seen users being suspended for "low-quality contributions".

How does this procedure works exactly? What triggers the suspension, or is it done manually by our esteemed Mods?

I am confused as I see that the user in question has also good posts (one even with more than 20 votes), so it escapes me why this user got suspended.

  • I guarantee you if we suspend someone there is always a solid reason, even if we cannot share the full story with the community.
    – Neo
    Jul 24 '19 at 11:30
  • 2
    I see, thanks Mr. Positive. I wasn't trying to know what were the reasons, and I was sure there was a valid point in doing that... I just missed the why and those posts, and also was curious about the mechanics of this suspension, as I have never seen it before.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Jul 24 '19 at 15:53

Usually if you see that suspension reason, there's a lot of deleted content too.

Sometimes users struggle with asking questions. The community tries to help but new questions show the same problems. Sometimes there are several per day. If counseling the user isn't helping, the next step is usually a time-out to encourage the user to read our guidelines. Suspensions are not meant to be punitive but to stop problematic behavior.

A notice like the one you saw is the result of moderator action. If a user's first several questions are downvoted, closed, and/or deleted, automatic throttles kick in and then a question block if the throttle didn't lead to improvement. However, there is a reputation level (I don't know what it is) beyond which these throttles and blocks don't apply. The assumption is that new users are the ones who are going to run into this problem; however, the system doesn't take into account the possibility of a first question becoming hot and highly-voted.

Sometimes a user gets (un)lucky and earns privileges -- like dodging the automatic quality controls -- before really learning how the site works.

  • 4
    "Usually if you see that suspension reason, there's a lot of deleted content too." - goes check the mod tools - You are right, the user in question has at least one other post that got deleted as rude/spam, along with the already negative posts the user still has undeleted.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Jul 23 '19 at 21:27
  • 1
    Sometimes a user gets (un)lucky and earns privileges -- like dodging the automatic quality controls -- before really learning how the site works I've often wondered why site privileges (and indeed reputation) are "mixed" across all functions and not segregated. There are many users who only ask or only answer questions, but we give privileges out the same to everyone.
    – dwizum
    Jul 29 '19 at 19:26
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    @dwizum it'd probably be pretty confusing, both for users and in the code, to try to separate them. For example, should someone who asks a lot of questions but doesn't answer only be able to flag questions? Wouldn't it be confusing to only be able to vote on some post types and not others? Reviews would get complicated quickly. That's just off the top of my head. Possibly a better approach would be to require a certain number of events and not just a rep level -- if the rep to do X has to come from at least 5 posts (or whatever), then one HNQ doesn't do it. But that, too, is complicated. Jul 29 '19 at 19:31
  • Yeah, I'm just thinking out loud as much as trying to suggest that it should be different. I don't think there's a single magic way to hand out rep and access to functions, and the one thing we can say for sure is that the current approach has certainly stood the test of time.
    – dwizum
    Jul 29 '19 at 19:36
  • @dwizum I've often wondered why the thresholds are the same across all sites. It's a lot easier to earn 1k here than on SO (for example), but the value of that 1k is the same. There's clearly already code to change the thresholds (since they're lower on beta sites), so I've often wondered why they don't scale differently to match the voting patterns specific to each site. I guess people would kick up a stink if they lost their privileges when the thresholds were adjusted?
    – Player One
    Aug 4 '19 at 1:28

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