There have been a couple of controversial suspensions or bans now on this site. Current rules prevent the moderators from giving details of suspensions. This is bad, because it raises suspicions and undermines the community's trust in the moderators.
I'm not contesting any concrete suspension, but I believe such a drastic measure should only be applied completely transparently, for that reason.
So, I'm proposing the following change of rules:
In case of a suspension, the reasons of suspension must be clearly stated. Any posts that lead to the suspension shall be archived and publicly displayed, unless:
- They contain strongly insulting, inflammatory or illegal content.
- The suspended member wishes them to be removed (to respect his/her privacy).
- Another person mentioned or involved wishes to be redacted from the posts.
- The accused user should be allowed a statement to be posted together with the reasons of suspension.
- Ideally, all of this should be displayed on the suspended user's profile.
- As long this is not implemented in the SE software, a meta post shall be made in prominent cases, or on request of another SE user.
- The new procedure can be waived in cases of minor suspensions (not more than a few days), or quick bans (e.g. spam bots).
- If this conflicts the moderation agreement or any other document, that document shall be modified accordingly.
Again, I know that this might be in conflict with the moderation agreement. Still, if you sympathize with my suggestion, please upvote this. Rules can be changed. If you are a moderator, and in principle support this suggestion, but feel bound by the moderation agreement at the moment, please state that you think so in a comment!
I believe this change is necessary for a more civil and democratic atmosphere especially on the meta site.
Note this is not meant to be a public shaming or pilloring of the suspended user. Quite the contrary, the idea is to give the user his or her voice back, and let them make a plea for there case. Of course, they have the option of keeping it low profile, and have the reasons for suspension remain undisclosed (as it's handled currently). But, they also have the option to state their point of view (and let users decide what they think), or even - god forbid - write an apology or something reconciling, if the dispute has been settled.
The benefit of putting the reasons out in the open by default is that it prevents toxic speculation and suspicion about the reasons of suspension.