Guidelines and suspension, and what can get you banned

(Lucas Heber) #1

Today @MemriseMatty suspended a user (@Hombre_sin_nombre) for his supposed inadequate behavior in this thread.
What got him suspended was the following remarks:

First of all I read the TWO guidelines available in this forum, here and here. I have to say that I found it very confusing have to visit multiple places.

About the application of the policy. The aforementioned user received a public warning for his two first statements, and was suspended (publicly) because of the third. I think public warning should not be given since it derails a post as happened with users contesting admin authority, and also because create animosity. An personal/direct message would fit better than making a show when warning a user. Don’t you think?
Giving arbitrary punishment? What was that? Community guidelines did NOT give details about punishment, and silencing users was never a policy in this forum until now. You went ahead and suspended a user for 4 weeks, just because you wanted.
I wonder why silence one of the most vocal and participating user that fought against absence of an app for Deck and the way Memrise treated user feedback in the past.

I think a more clear guideline is necessary for this forum.

Example of animosity created:

(Adrian) #2

I think, and I might also get banned/suspended for that, the guys over at Memrise are a bit butthurt thanks to what happened lately. Censoring speech, especially in this political climate, is something I saw coming from them. As I saw on other platforms, there doesn’t have to be a specific reason to ban someone, as long as the guidelines are as vague as you can make them, anything is possible.

Personally, I think he should have gotten a warning first, not straight-up suspension.


Those guidelines were not really being upheld by Memrise before.
To then suspend someone from the forum for four weeks, after just one warning seems overkill.

It would have been better to first issue a further warning that Memrise from now on is going to maintain these rules and suspend people who violate them. And I think a suspension for a week or so should suffice.

(Olaf Rabbachin) #4

I completely agree. Particularly, and assuming that the ban was valid (which I think wasn’t the case), a 24h ban would’ve been more appropriate. Silencing someone for 4 weeks is very harsh and disproportionate.

Once again, I agree 100%. Writing about this publicly feels like this was politically motivated. And it does feel a bit like he was put in the pillory. Not fair. Not good.

(Vikestart) #5

I agree. This is definitely a case of overzealous moderation from @MemriseMatty, it almost seemed personal to me. With such abuse of position from the staff comes animosity amongst the community, like you said yourself. And to comment the act of banning/suspending a member in public like that, that’s got to be the first time I’ve seen that anywhere. That’s really bad form.

Maybe Hombre_sin_nombre was a bit sharp in his tone, but I can’t see how those remarks should warrant an instant 4 week suspension. I mean, it’s not up to me, but I’ve been to many online communities and seen a lot of action, and this seems extremely disproportionate.

The Memrise team have been getting better lately at communicating with the community, but it still shows that they have a long way to go. Not just because of this, but other comments from the team as well, where some of them have even acknowledged or apologised afterwards.

Hire a community manager?

Just my thoughts…


What in the world??? none of those comments were even that bad. The worst was the first(I guess I could understand a warning for this one), but he didn’t specifically insult anyone with the first comment, he was just very crudely pointing out that it’s not a good idea to associate foreign languages with aliens and the outer world. The second comment was criticism. And the third? that’s nothing more than commenting on wasted manpower. Ridiculous censorship going on here.

(Adrian) #7

My guess is that it’s a difference in perspective here. I don’t want to get political, but it seems like the people over at Memrise are pretty liberal, which can be seen from their choice of words like “offensive” and subtly censoring those who dare to criticise them.

This is unbelievably stupid from a company that’s losing its users. I am willing to bet they’ll make even more rash and dumb decisions in the future. Decks on mobile was just to shut everyone up. So congrats, Memrise, you’re starting to lose my respect yet again.

1 Like
(Overlord Hydroptère) #8

I find the suspended user rather keen on insulting people who disagree with him/her. Hmm…

(Lucas Heber) #9

would you be able to point out comments or posts where this user insult people excluding the three possibly problematic comments that got him suspended?
I ask that because by saying ‘keen’ I understand you mean he was offensive before.

(Lurajane) #10

My perspective is that the forum is a place to criticize ideas, and is not really intended as a place to insult the people holding the ideas. And I would challenge the expectation that rules are only valid if they are applied uniformly and retroactively.

“But, officer, you can’t give him a ticket! The other cars were speeding, too! And last month we saw a police car that was speeding!”

(Lurajane) #11

At the same time, I do think community forums with extreme moderation get really boring and loose positive community input as well as critical input, so I’m not personally advocating for broad censorship of insults.


Maybe valid but it might not be perceived as just. In light of the recent big unrest on the forums I think it would be better to be very careful with suddenly banning people.

(Lucas Heber) #13

Needless to say, public warning is not a procedure contemplated in the guidelines. In fact, I believe it is against the guidelines of this forum:

People that post nonsense, false statements, attack other members of the community or staff and diverts attention from the main purpose of this community will receive a system warning and be banned.

The correct would be a system warning. A feature included in this forum and that admis can use.

(Memrise Matty) #14

We’ll be sure to clarify these pages over the coming months. I will be updating the community guidelines to be more specific about how to behave on this forum.

There are no guidelines on how long a punishment should be. That does not mean as moderators we cannot use our discretion. We have no plans to include specific guidelines on how long a suspension will be. We will issue a warning first (as we did in this case) and I will make that more clear in the current guidelines.

We suspended this user because of the 3 posts made towards staff members. One of which was made after being warned. There have been a lot of vocal critics regarding Decks and the way Memirse handles feedback, but we have not suspended any of these users during this time, as they have not made any rude comments directly to staff (to my knowledge).

As a side note, If users want to flag a specific comment or post, they can do so and it will be reviewed by a moderator.

I agree. That being said, I think it’s pretty clear the 3 statements above do not adhere to the current guidelines:

Becoming a troll is strictly forbidden. It’s anti-Memrisey and totally uncool. Remember, our mantra is joy. People that post nonsense, false statements, attack other members of the community or staff…

We have silenced users in the past, and banned other users based on those guidelines.

These rules have always been in effect, and will continue to do so.

  1. Politics plays no part in assessing posts which go against our guidelines.
  2. People can criticise all they want. There are plenty of people who are able to criticise without resorting to petty comments.
  3. We made a decision regarding Decks, people gave their feedback on the lack of a mobile app, we decided to take that feedback on-board and build a Decks app. There are a lot of users who are happy regarding this decision. Sorry to see you are not one of them.

I think I’ve commented on most of your pressing points. In essence, should any users make rude statements, attack members of staff, persist in trolling etc. etc. they should expect a warning>suspension. Some of you have mentioned “free speech” and “Censoring speech”, but this is a public forum which is shared with multiple people. “Free speech” does not give one the right to say whatever one wants towards members of this community (be they staff of other users).

If you are frustrated or angry, then I suggest you attempt to funnel that into constructive criticism and discussion. Staff members have been very active on the forum over the past few weeks (something which some of you have been asking for). Being rude to them will not win you any fans, or encourage Memrise staff to communicate with you more regularly or listen to your feedback. Food for thought.

I will give the Community Guidelines an update this week.

(Olaf Rabbachin) #15

… I noticed that too. And I very much appreciate that!

(Hombre_sin_nombre) #16

@lucasheber, @LangAddict, @duaal, @Olaf.Rabbachin, @Vikestart, @AkiraKurusu

Thank you, guys.