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I would like to hear some opinions, preferably from other Mastodon admins/moderators, regarding suspensions and unsuspensions.

Would you prefer to:

1. Let mods delete offending posts and send notifications to the author while increasing some internal strike count so mods know to enact harsher punishment in repeat cases, or

2. Let mods conditionally suspend accounts, allowing people to unsuspend themselves by agreeing to delete offending posts through their own action?

Anonymous poll


Deletions by mods
Conditional suspensions
288 people voted.
Voting ended 28 Dec 2021 at 4:33.

@Gargron conditional suspensions with a strike log for mods if they determine something harsher is appropriate seems good, but I'm on a single user instance so don't give that too much weight please lol.

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infinite love ⴳ

@Gargron as a user it feels kinda... patronizing, imo? when being asked to delete something. i'd rather mods actually be responsible for taking the action instead of the software pressuring the user to take action. it's one of the things twitter does that feels icky


@trwnh Starting to lean towards 1 myself now that I've posted the poll.

  wb x64

@Gargron @trwnh yeah #2 feels very like "tell me Winston Smith, what is 2+2? if you don't answer 5, you will be banned again."

If the content is truly objectionable, then take action on it. If the user's behavior is objectionable, take action on their access. Forcing behavior upon conditionals satisfies neither unless you believe that such a method modifies behavior for the better.


@Gargron @trwnh There's no reason no.2 needs to be a carbon copy of Facebook's system. I do appreciate the idea of presenting it more as an intervention, with a support system ready to help sort it out, rather than the only option being to wipe out the post and ban the user. It could become another opportunity to engage the fact that, ideally, we are the ones moderating ourselves in the Fediverse.


Option 1. is what Instagram seems to do and option 2. is what Twitter seems to do, though as someone who doesn't use the former and has not been suspended from the latter I am half-guessing.

Motivation in both cases is to reduce the number of permanent suspensions in situations where an offending user is willing to change, and minimize moderator workload by having to keep up with appeals through e-mail.


@Gargron From my Twitter experience you get shadow banned and can't fix it or get banned outright.

  David de Groot 𓆉

@Gargron More in favour of Option 1, purely because if nothing else, the pandemic has taught us you cannot rely on people to do the right thing.

  Mike, First of His Name

@Gargron here's a potentially shocking idea - implement both and have it be a selectable option per instance. Let's see what works better in practice for people.


Option 2 with some people will never happen IMHO ... So maybe something like option 2, with reminders to admin of
posts flagged still present after x days, then option 1, a moderator does the job...

  Aaruni Kaushik

@Gargron from the user perspective, in option 1, they post something and then its automatically gone.
In option 2, they post something, get suspended. Now they have a choice whether they want to delete the content in question, or if they believe their posting habits are not in line with this server's terms of use, migrate somewhere else.


@Gargron Twitter’s requirement that a user delete their own post feels patronizing to a normal user. But it probably exists to frustrate botters that automagically post the same thing over many accounts.


@Gargron I'm so glad you're considering these features and I hope to see the free choice between them, because different communities absolutely will need very different moderation styles this has potential to support.

  Deadly Headshot

How do you deal with appeals? 2 might be better for adapting in that case?


@Gargron Their bigget problem is differentiating between an insult to a user and an insult over a puppet, that which I am dealing with & this isn’t the first time. Banning for 6 days is a great way to lose the user completely. :unarist:


@Gargron Apparently I got flagged on FB and didn't even know it for weeks. If the notice did come up, it flashed by. If not, then how am I supposed to know I erred so I don't do it again. There needs to be something sent to the user to know when a line is crossed and a way to explain, in case it was an innocent remark or something taken in the wrong context, otherwise it's likely to happen again because there was no explanation presented.

Cyber Yuki :transgender: 🇲🇽

@Gargron I'm not entirely sure about post deletion. Archiving a post might be useful for accountability.

It all depends on the nature of the offending post. If it's a personal feud between two users and the tone is rising towards insults, I believe deletion with a warning is correct.

However, if we're dealing with obviously transphobic people, suspending account is extremely necessary.

So... both, I guess?


@yuki I'm not taking the current suspension option away, just thinking about those situations where a suspension hinges on the fact that some posts need to be deleted.

Jigme Datse

@Gargron This is a bit of an example of asking a question which results in the possibility of having mixed feelings where you have decide on multiple things at the same time. To me you have two different binary choices: deletion of posts (yes or no) and suspension of accounts (yes or no). But reduced it to two options (for 4 values).


@JigmeDatse Mods can already delete posts now but it doesn't generate any notification to the user so it has no educational value. So either option presented here would be an improvement.

  Jigme Datse

@Gargron I'm not sure if you really have something you can say is an improvement. Your response actually makes it clear that you reduced 8 values to 2 responses. I hadn't even really realised that.

My comment isn't really about what the options were, but more about "survey methods". How you can't entirely trust the data you collect.

It bothers me a lot less in this situation, than if something like this is coming from a government, or other "space" which should have the knowledge.


@Gargron how about option 3? you face me in the octagon


@Gargron I voted to 2. but I need option to unsuspend from moderrater by hand and no delete the incident toot.

:pine: the ☀️ & the 🌑

@Gargron hi, mod here.
no users on my instance have required these things.
when you're designing for a group of people who aren't a community it's going to be different...

would prefer both exist, I guess. why not? they're not mutually exclusive

Dr. Quadragon ❌

Блин, сложный на, самом деле, вопрос.
Я, наверное, больше склоняюсь либо ко второму варианту, либо ко второму с элементами первого. Типа, вот, ты нассал в подъезде, и мы это запомнили, и пока сам не вытрешь, мы тебя не пустим.

Тем более, что первый вариант у нас в каком-то виде уже есть - счетчик жалоб на аккаунтах существует, и предупреждения высылаются, если нужно. Вот только нельзя, насколько мне известно, жалобу инвалидировать, и не засчитывать жалобу, направленную недобросовестно или по ошибке. Это промах.

@ZySoua @inexcode @horhik @sptnkmmnt

Блин, сложный на, самом деле, вопрос.
Я, наверное, больше склоняюсь либо ко второму варианту, либо ко второму с элементами первого. Типа, вот, ты нассал в подъезде, и мы это запомнили, и пока сам не вытрешь, мы тебя не пустим.

Тем более, что первый вариант у нас в каком-то виде уже есть - счетчик жалоб на аккаунтах существует, и предупреждения высылаются, если нужно. Вот только нельзя, насколько мне известно, жалобу инвалидировать, и не засчитывать жалобу, направленную недобросовестно или...



Призывать модераторов после какого-то определенного количества добровольно удаленных постов.

Наверное так
@Gargron @ZySoua @inexcode @sptnkmmnt

  Dr. Quadragon ❌

@horhik модератор тут изначально на сцене.

@Gargron @ZySoua @inexcode @sptnkmmnt

Stefan Midjich

@Gargron I voted option two because accounts are never really deleted since the name is reserved to prevent new users from taking over the old accounts followers. So with that in mind a temporary suspension makes sense as a first strike. But it's clear that complete suspension must be possible since the user could be a repeat offender.

betamax 65 💉💉💉

@Gargron Neither of them. An administrator's task is to keep the platform running technically and not to act as a moralizer. The user has sufficiently strong mechanisms at his disposal with muting and blocking. Who considers his role as an administrator so that every contribution must come through the personal moral head filter of the administrator, who should rather offer no instance for the public. Because that is already worse than an algorithm of commercial platforms.


@Gargron Let the admin or the moderator decide, depending on who is on the other side: so, both.

Simon :linux:

@Gargron Seeing as we are talking about instances run by someone, it makes sense that that someone can manage the content. It helps if they've post community guidelines of course. Instance owners/managers don't exist to let anyone spout anything... they exist to give other users an opportunity to be free from Big Data.


@Gargron From a user perspective, I'd prefer to have my post deleted with an explanation why, rather than getting a message asking me to unpost. What happens if I don't? Probably the post gets removed _anyway_, so the whole process is just theatre. Plus, getting a post that I posted, thinking that it won't be problematic, only to discover the Mod thinks it is, gives ME a clearer picture of that community/state of the instance, and I'd likely just go elsewhere.

GMate8 💙💛

@Gargron oh yes finally
Sheet Mastodon getting good stuff while time flies by


@Gargron I'm pretty new to running a server, so take this with a grain of salt. Personally I like how option 1 keeps the mod options focused on real actions and doesn't try to automate the moderator role. To me that seems to encourage keeping servers small enough that they can be moderated by humans using direct communication, which imo is generally a good thing.


@nick But option 2 is a moderator action too


@Gargron the initial action is, but it automates the un-banning, if I'm understanding correctly?


@Gargron cool cool, just wanted to be sure.

Option 1 seems to encourage mods to engage more personally with users, while option 2 seems to scale to more users. One appeal of Mastodon for me is the idea of small communities, so option 1 seems to encourage keeping a server small (because it may not scale to large user bases). OTOH I understand the appeal of scalable mod tools.

Do you have a preference at this point?


@nick I have a preference for 1 now but I don't see how it makes mods engage more personally. I just click delete posts in the mod interface and the user gets notified, and maybe next time I see an indicator that tells me it's worth clicking suspend instead


@Gargron That's a good point. I was imagining a workflow where a mod deletes a post, and separately messages the user explaining why. This is really only possible on a smaller server, where the mod can feasibly engage with individual users. But I see now how it wouldn't play out like that in practice, particularly on large servers.

Disclaimer: I have no experience being a community mod so don't take me too seriously.

Gracious Anthracite


honestly these both sound useful to me


@Gargron Both sound like necessary tools. Deletion without suspension for minor infractions and unescalated accounts, suspension requiring deletion for major infractions and escalated accounts.

Kat MCP(NT4) MCSE(Win2K)

@Gargron neither..

But don't you think 2 needs a counter also?


@Gargron in the case of 1, would the internal strike count include the deleted posts that coincided with the actions taken against that user? What about if that post was made as part of a thread? I feel like that could better help mods contextualize a user's behavior and whether it's part of a broader pattern, if that makes sense.


@Gargron I'd say option 1. I think there needs to be options to better report misinformation and blatantly false information #snoops is a good resource and #lifehacker have good info on spotting miss info.


@Gargron i would post deletions. but yes, these with user-access... i think its more "humanish"


@Gargron How about if a post is flagged by an admin, the author gets a countdown to hide the post as sensitive and it only gets deleted if this is not done by the user, after a certain period of time? (like e.g. counting down 72 hours to take action)...?

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