|Basically, at the moment our joining and banning system is backwards. It's hard to join, and actually, technically, very easy to be banned - it just takes Tom killing your suit. The preamble to that is more difficult, however, and it depends on a mix of personal decision (the decision being Tom's) and consensus opinion.|
Now, these concepts go hand in hand. We can't open the board totally without also allowing moderators the sort of powers they have on regularly bulletin boards - specifically, to suspend and/or ban suits without consultation. So, we get into balancing. For example, anyone who provides a real, verifiable email address can join (that is, passwords are sent to an email address), but moderators can change a suit password as a moderator action. Leisurely bannings can be discussed in Policy, if they must be. Emergency bannings can just be effected, with subsequent post-banning analysis. All bannings are reversible - one can just send the bannee a password reminder.
I think, after a lot of thought, that my ideal situation would involve a very small number of people having the right to scramble user passwords. Doing so would automatically flag an alert to Tom and the moderator would be expected too start a thread in the Policy notifying everyone that it had been done and why.
In non-emergency cases, banning is done as it is at the moment, except:
1) There is a clearly defined code of conduct.
2) Anyone starting a banning thread must be able to point to a breach of that code of conduct - racism, homophobis, harrassment, trolling.
3) At least the first time such a contravention occurs, unless it is really pissing egregious, the potential bannee must be contacted and made aware that his or her behaviour is unacceptable, and if an awareness of this and a readiness to avoid such conduct in future is made clear, status quo is restored.
4) No banning discussion to last more than one week, no banning discussion to be restarted within a month. If the consensus is that someone should stay, the consensus can just deal with the consequences for a while.
5) How to decide consensus is a problem - simple majority probably won't cut it. This needs more thought.
Banning threads to follow the belief + links format used for Shadowsax and 33, where this is at all possible.