A post on July 28, 2015 by Reddit admin /u/krispykrackers explains the basics of Shadowbanning, a tool initially created to counteract spammers by hiding their content without letting them know their account had been shadowbanned. However, this was Reddit’s only tool for an account-wide ban, and it has since been used on people other than spammers as well.
Account Suspension will be more straightforward and transparent than a Shadowban. An F.A.Q. page linked in the announcement post states that only Reddit administrators will be able to apply suspensions, which can be temporary or permanent. Permanent suspensions will result in a message about the account’s status being added to that account’s userpage.
A suspended account is effectively unable to do any actions other than read content on Reddit. Some users have brought up some potential concerns with the Account Suspension system—/u/kreshh commented that not having access to the moderator mail system would mean that he couldn’t communicate his absence to co-moderators, and user /u/1point618 suggested that all fellow moderators of a permanently suspended Reddit account should be automatically notified about the suspension via modmail. Suspended users will be able to delete and edit their posts, and Reddit admin /u/powerlanguage said that this may change if the edit function is abused by too many suspended users.
A moderator whose account is permanently suspended would be susceptible to a Reddit Request, as if they had gone inactive or deleted their account. /r/redditrequest is Reddit’s system for giving abandoned subreddits over to new users who apply for them. If a Reddit Request goes through, the old moderator is removed and replaced with the user who requested the subreddit.
Reddit admin /u/krispykrackers stated that users can reply to the suspension notice in order to appeal their suspension.
The new Account Suspension feature is one of many new features that have been introduced since the Reddit Revolt in July of 2015. Reddit users were upset with the firing of AMA Coordinator Victoria Taylor and lack of communication from the admins, where they then protested by setting their subreddits to private after /r/IAmA did the same.
As a result of these actions, Reddit’s administration stated that a greater dedication to communication and transparency was a priority. They have been working on adding new moderation tools and community features since then.
What do you think of Reddit’s implementation of Account Suspension? Do you think that Account Suspension is a good alternative to shadowbanning? How could they improve it? Let us know in the comments below!