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I see it far less frequently now (thanks @dang!), but a few years ago it wasn't uncommon to see shadow banned HN users continuing to post for years, talking into the void. Sometimes I'd look into their post history and so many of them had been banned for utterly trivial reasons, it was pretty sad.





Would you have a profile or two handy that I can take a look at? I left showdead on for a while but found it useless in terms of coming across interesting comments from such users. Thx.

I seem to remember being pretty upset when I found out Terry Davis of Temple OS was being shadowbanned. Maybe it was just temporary for a short period or a single comment, but I didn't like it.

I found this (related?) poll https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7818823


Terry was permanently shadow-banned, the subject came up quite often. He suffered from schizophrenia and would make racist and paranoid comments about 80% of the time, but his remaining posts were often pretty technical / insightful. As the victim of an illness it seemed unkind that he was banned, but at the same time a lot of his output was obviously very offensive.

Cases like that are why we introduced vouching, which allows the community to restore the good posts made by a banned account.

Incidentally, if a banned account is making only good posts, we're happy to unban it. I often look at the recent commenting history of banned accounts in the hope of finding such cases, and users sometimes email us about them (as mirmir mentioned elsewhere in this thread). That's super helpful!

One strange phenomenon is that there are banned accounts that post good comments, but revert to posting bad comments that break the site guidelines as soon as we unban them. Then we ban them again and their comments get good again...go figure. Any large-enough population sample includes a long tail of behaviors.


> One strange phenomenon that comes up occasionally is that there are banned accounts that post good comments, but revert to posting bad comments that break the site guidelines as soon as we unban them. Then we ban them again and their comments get good again...go figure. Any large-enough population sample includes a long tail of behaviors.

It would be somewhat ironic, if re-enabling interaction with the community is what's driving them to back to bad behaviour. You know, HN as a bad influence.


That's one model; I've come up with others over the years. But there's no easy way to test any of them. We can't simply ask, either, because asking a question like that is enough of a perturbation to significantly affect what one is asking about—and who knows if people are even aware that they're doing this to begin with.

The truth is right in front of your face. You stare at it in the mirror every time you brush your teeth.

The problem here is your BONDAGE AND DISCIPLINE moderation system, as I explained to you. You make up all of these bullshit rules and then stand around with tasers and shotguns forcing people to follow them "OR ELSE." You do not exercise any discretion or any moderation whatsoever, but just go around shooting people in the face simply for opening their mouth to speak. And then you're surprised as shit when this behavior breeds nothing but contempt for you and your idiotic rules. "How could this be happening?"

Take me, for instance. Made my first account a few months ago, posting my opinions innocently. Shadow banned in less than 15 POSTS. Holy shit! Talk about being shocked. Did you care, when I brought this to your attention? Does it matter to you that you are driving good people away from here every day? Of course not. You're too self-absorbed to care.

And you even sit around having these long discussions, thinking up clever and creative ways to be even more of a hellspawn against these people whose opinions you hate so much. New ways to separate people from society and trap them inside a cage where you don't have to hear their thoughts or opinions. Has there ever been a more sick or contemptible society in the history of man?

Go ahead and ban/shadowban this account also, please. I will just make another. And another. And another. And another...........and another......... from now until the end of time. Eventually I will automate the process, and submit my comments in batches, at a far higher rate than your mods can find and hide them. In my irritation at your unchecked fascism, my comments will ALL be as sharp as a knife, to keep driving the truth home as frequently as possible, until these "mysteries" you "just don't understand" are finally and definitely solved in your mind.


I've seen people like this one message boards before and I always just assumed they handle disagreement poorly. Specifically, they can make an original comment that is fine, but if someone responds in a way they don't like, they kind of fly off the handle. So I guess if they never have people respond to them, they seem fine.

I only lurked on his comments, but I remember some to be very interesting and thought that his unique approach to OS design was food for thought

Somebody should make a shrine of his lucid and technical posts. And also a book.

Anybody know of such things?


If I see an account that's been shadowbanned for years, and has consistently posted appropriately for maybe several months, I report it via the contact address.



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