I flagged some comments from a single user as spam/promotional, and the mods have suspended the account (thanks, guys!).

I looked on the user's page, and I notice it says they are temporarily suspended until April 6 '23.

What, exactly, is the point of a 10 year suspension? I understand the penalty box is appropriate, but I feel if it deserves an entire decade, shouldn't the account be deleted instead? In fact, the penalty box as described in the link for suspended accounts states that a suspension is anywhere from 1 day to 1 year.

I'm not arguing the suspension; I'm glad the mods are actively keeping the forums clean. It just seems worthless to keep an account around, hoping that in 10 years the user will have changed his ways.

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    Ten years seems excessive. Isn't there supposed to be a graduated progression (7 days, 30 days, 1 year)? Seems pointless to suspend for over a year. – ale Apr 8 '13 at 15:20
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    @AlEverett This is their second suspension, but that graduation is just for a "real" user with behavioral problems we hope to correct; a non-contributing spam account doesn't need to be given multiple chances. I am not sure why the account was not destroyed immediately, since I understand that to be the SE policy. – Matthew Read Apr 8 '13 at 16:13
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    Onik is correct about destroyed accounts being recreated with the same credentials. Although we've never done it here, other sites sometimes used a general "spam account" as a merge target for all spammers. Superuser does this, for example. – eldarerathis Apr 8 '13 at 17:11

This is something of a fringe case. Without divulging too much in the way of "personal" information, I will simply say that the website(s) from the flagged posts were being inappropriately promoted here by multiple parties. I felt this warranted a bit of investigative work, and wanted to (for at least the time being) preserve the account's details.

The reason I chose an arbitrarily large suspension length was because anything else felt...disingenuous, to a point. I had no intention of reinstating the account at any point in the future, but as there is no "permanent" suspension - by definition, basically - I simply typed in a large number to make clear the purpose of the suspension to whomever would be receiving the suspension notice. I certainly did not expect the user to wait with bated breath for the opportunity to return in a decade with the intention of being a well-behaved community member - as you've said, that's quite unrealistic (for a number of reasons).

At this point, you'll find the account has been destroyed for now, though onik's answer is correct in that a destroyed account can simply be re-created. Whether or not this will prove to be problematic remains to be seen, and we'll cross that bridge if we have to.


IMHO: If the account was deleted, nothing would stop the user from recreating it with the exact same details. Suspending it forces the user to create an account with other details, which increases the effort required to create spam accounts.

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    Seems like it would be better if the policy changed, then, with deleted accounts: If an account is deleted, the details used to create the account should not allow a new account. If that isn't possible for technical reasons, then I can understand why an account is "temporarily" suspended indefinitely. – Stephen Schrauger Apr 8 '13 at 14:52
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    @StephenSchrauger Might be something worth bringing up on meta.stackexchange.com if it hasn't already been – Bryan Denny Apr 8 '13 at 15:15

You service meant to live more than 10 years? (Or i am wrong? This is a big project)
People are also meant to live more than 10 years?

I totaly agree with Onik's idea.
And i agree with Stephen Schrauger that there could be a change in policy disallowing creating account with same details. But as i think details should not be banned for more than 1 or 2 years.

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