I’ve come to a realization. I don’t ban people because they deserve it. I ban people because of my own flaws, personality issues or just because I like to toy with people. In other words, they have done nothing wrong.

At least, that’s the impression I get from the messages I receive from banned users or the ones I read where they complain about being banned.

It’s amazing to me how terrible I am at banning people. I really have no clue what I am doing. Even 11 years in, I have no idea.

People aren’t banned because they personally attacked members of staff or because they called anyone who disagreed with them a vulgar name. They aren’t banned because they constantly violated our guidelines, after we gave them more chances than I can count and tried to help them understand or because they spammed members via private message and threatened people. No, never that.

I ban people because they disagree with me. I do that a lot. I don’t want people to have dissenting opinions. In fact, anyone who disagrees with the majority opinion on my site is banned. I love doing that. It’s so much fun.

Once in a while, I ban people due to their choice of web browser. I also ban people who were “just” helping others. I ban people because I am a sad, pathetic little man with no life, who is unreasonably excited by the prospect of having power over something, anything, and I use that power to compensate for my lack of success in “real life.”

That is what you’d think, if you believed what some of the people I’ve banned would tell you. It’s a phenomenon. The eighth wonder of the world.

Or maybe, just maybe, these are half truths or outright lies from people who don’t want to take responsibility for their actions and know that no one will argue with them, because the only people who know the circumstances of their ban are me, my staff and them.

It’s amazing to me how people try to perpetuate these stories that, if I wanted to, I could kill in two seconds by airing what they really did and seriously humiliate them and destroy their credibility, once and for all. Of course, that’s not something I’m interested in doing.

I’ve banned people who were total slime balls, jerks who treated other members like garbage, only to find them telling people that I banned them for “helping people” or because they disagreed with me. It’s hilarious to do a side by side comparison of what some of these people said they did to what they actually did.

There are people who brag about where they have been banned, as if it is something to be proud of. “I’ve been banned from A, B, C, X, Y and Z. I tell it like it is and they can’t handle it because it’s too real.” No, you’re a jerk who doesn’t know how to communicate. That’s why you’re banned. Not because you are some visionary thinker that the world isn’t ready for.

I don’t know about you, but I do not know a single community or forum administrator who bans people just for the heck of banning them. They have a reason for banning people. It may not always be a reason that I agree with, but then, it doesn’t matter if I agree with it – it’s their community and they are applying the standards that have been set for the community.

That’s not to say that there are not administrators who do so because I am sure that there are. However, generally speaking, they are a slim minority. Most people who complain about being banned from a forum were banned for a particular reason. The vast majority of people who tell you that they were banned from some website for no reason, were banned for a reason. They just don’t want to admit to it, so that they can come off as the victim and/or a tough guy. They’d rather play on our natural fear of authority to make us dislike, stress out and/or waste the time of someone who is just managing their community,

Which is the reason why, with some exceptions, I don’t allow people to complain about other forums on my forum. I don’t care if you were banned at XYZ and I don’t care why. It doesn’t impress me. My community isn’t a complaint board for the forum you were banned at.

What I have found is that, chances are, if you were banned from some forum, you were banned for a reason.