I thought the user kalleman was just misinformed and slightly cranky, but his/her latest question (which I have locked and deleted) is fairly clearly trolling, and he/she also posted a troll answer to another question which has been deleted.

I want to suspend the user but realize I have no guidelines as to what constitutes a severe enough offense to suspend a user and how the lengths of suspensions should be related to the severity of the offense (as it were). Are there SE-wide guidelines written down somewhere I should be aware of? Should I just use my best judgment?

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    $\begingroup$ I am under the impression that one day is a fairly standard first suspension across the board. How quickly to escalate subsequent suspensions is the murkier question, I think. (By the way, I fully support this suspenion.) $\endgroup$ Dec 23, 2010 at 23:36
  • $\begingroup$ The "consensus" (if you can call it such) at the thread Akhil linked to seems to be that there shouldn't be written-down guidelines. (Various justifications are given; I won't bother to repeat them here.) I sort of expect suspensions to be not the norm, but the exception, so taking the effort to formulate our own concrete suspension policy perhaps is not worth the time. Maybe just a vague guideline? $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2010 at 0:05
  • $\begingroup$ If you can't find any written guidelines, then I definitely trust moderator judgment. I just hope that issues like this don't drain so much of the community's time in the future! $\endgroup$
    – Elliott
    Dec 24, 2010 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ Since we are talking about spam/trolling, there is this: math.stackexchange.com/questions/15039/… that the OP destroyed after it was closed. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2010 at 1:24
  • $\begingroup$ Insert Snarky comment about suspension policies and 97832123 here $\endgroup$
    – BBischof
    Dec 24, 2010 at 7:27
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    $\begingroup$ @Andres: thanks for the clean-up (and the heads-up). @BBischof: I am not sure what the comment is meant to accomplish. $\endgroup$ Dec 24, 2010 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Willie It was meant to be a joke. Thus it was meant to amuse. $\endgroup$
    – BBischof
    Dec 24, 2010 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


I would say go ahead and suspend the user for a day: obvious bad faith trolling and crankery merits it.

See also this.


In addition to the thread that Akhil posted about when people are suspended at SO, there's also a thread on how they deal with persistent problems here. It's no clear to me whether moderators at other SE sites are expected to follow the same guidelines as at SO. But I actually think their more rapid escalation is a reasonably good idea.

At MO, on the other hand, the approach has been to have linear escalation with specific guidelines to the users so that they know when they'll get suspended.


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