I’m just not a temporary ban kind of guy. I was reminded of this while pondering the question asked by Alex (which I will be answering soon!). I’ve never utilized them, never wanted to and likely never will, unless I start running a community for someone else or something like that.

I understand the reasoning. It’s a “cooling off period” is one of the bigger ones. I’m sure they’re effective for those that use them and like them. There’s nothing wrong with them. This isn’t a right or wrong issue; just a preference.

For me, on my communities, I look at banning with a sense of finality. If someone forces us to block their access, they’ve done enough to ensure we don’t want them around – not just for 7 days or 30 days, but ever.

That’s not to say I’ve never unbanned anyone. I have. It’s pretty rare, but it’s done on a case by case basis and is tied to factors like what the member did to earn the ban, how long it has been since it occurred and what the member did after they were banned and whether or not they take responsibility for their actions.

Temporary bans strike me a little like the justice system. For most crimes that require jail time, people aren’t locked up forever or for the rest of their life – only temporarily. And then they are released and can be locked up again. I don’t want this relationship with my members.

I want to give them a generous number of notices about violations, based on the severity, give them an opportunity to improve and help them however I can… but when it comes down to the point of banning, we’ve exhausted our resources and spent enough time on them.

I also think that temporary bans can lead to bans being looked at as a game and, depending on how long, as “worth it,” since the member knows or presumes they’ll be allowed back. I’ll do the time, as long as I was able to do the crime. Of course, this can happen with or without temporary bans, so it’s not exclusive.

Temporary bans are a tool, a part of one’s arsenal and I’m glad that they are there, for those that need them.