[Note: I'm going to stick this thread for a short while, especially because of recent events, but will unstick it in a day or so]. I realize that virtually everyone here realizes that MacRumors is owned by Arnold Kim but administered and moderated by volunteers. Despite Arn's best attempts, he's been unable to clone himself - at least officially - and so each admin and moderator is a separate individual with individual lives. As a result, we will not respond to the same inputs in exactly the same way every time, and sometimes mistakes are made. Far more often, reasonable actions are taken which members believe were unfair. In any event, there's a way to deal with this, and many ways not to deal with it. Having been a member far longer than I was a moderator, and so having good memories of being on both sides, let me offer some advice. This isn't "official" advice per se, but I consider it to be valid. First, it's important to realize that this is Arn's site. Period. There is but one person that actually has a "right" to be here, and that's arn. Everyone else here - you, me, the admins - is here because he lets us be here. I assume that's obvious, but it deserved to be said again. His word is final. If arn decided that any mention of monkeys would result in an immediate ban, well, that's what'd happen. As it turns out, though, arn is too busy to administer a site with 100,000+ members by himself, especially with that pesky real-life career to deal with. So he appointed volunteer administrators and moderators to help. He trusts us to deal with issues in his stead, and we've been given rules and guidelines to use in order to do so. We each interpret them essentially the same way, but there are, of course, some differences because of that whole not-being-clones thing. The vast majority of the time, for the vast majority of members, there are no real problems. Yes, your post or thread might get edited or deleted. Mine were before I was a moderator, and they still are. It isn't a big deal. Sometimes, though, people do things and get banned. For what it's worth, I was once banned for a few hours (I broke a rule). Some bans are permanent - but those are usually reserved for spammers or members who have been repeatedly warned. New members with few posts who show themselves to be problematic right off the bat might also get banned permanently. Most bans, though, are temporary. We're transitioning to using "Unexpected vacation" (the title may change) in lieu of "Banned" for temporary bans, so don't think that every time you see "Banned" it means forever. Before long, though, it'll only say "Banned" for those who have been banned permanently. If you get banned - permanently or temporarily - you will always be notified about when, if ever, your ban will end. If it's a temporary ban, and you know what you did wrong, the best thing is to simply wait it out, and possibly, when it's over, send an apology via PM or the "Contact us" link, mentioning that you understand what you did wrong (we keep track of transgressions, and an apology is helpful unless, of course, you do it again, in which case it looks more like you're doing it intentionally with full knowledge that it's a violation). If the ban is for something you believe was a mistake, or if you feel it was too long, also use the "Contact us" link to respond. Keep in mind that it's in your best interests to not be belligerent or accusatory in that submission. All admins and moderators can see it, so most of us will not have any preconceived notions about what should be done - until we read what you have to say. This is your chance to make a first impression - at least for that ban - on most of us. Yelling is not a good choice. Acting like you expect immediate action or in any other way acting like a toddler... also not good choices. At this point, once you've contacted us, you need to wait. Why? Because we have lives and aren't always online. We'll almost always wait for feedback from the admin/moderator who banned you, and that might take a while to get. I understand that it's absolutely urgent for you to be able to post again. It's not as urgent for us. I'm not trying to be cold; you just need to understand that we have dozens of things to deal with on a slow day, and many many dozens of things on a rough day, and so it's entirely likely that your request is less urgent than something else. But... every single request is dealt with. We will look into it. That doesn't mean we'll always agree with you. But, if it seems someone overreacted or - most likely - didn't fully understand the situation, we'll fix things. Here are things not to do if you get banned: Have a friend contact us for you. Contact us yourself. If you'd like to mention that other members have more details, then by all means mention that... but having people contact us for you? Not a good call. Contact us more that once. We see all the contacts. If you think something failed just as you were submitting the note, fine, send something again. But an hourly contact indicating that you need an answer will not be good for you. Have a friend post a 'goodbye' thread or in any other way try to bring what happened to light until we've had a chance to deal with it. This never, ever helps anything. Ever. And, in case that wasn't clear, I'll say it again: ever. Re-register. This is against the rules, is a justification for a permanent ban, and is something we almost always spot. You might get away with it, but you most likely won't. Be belligerent (as mentioned above). It won't help you. Something else which I feel needs to be mentioned: violating the rules isn't the only way you can get yourself banned. You can also be banned for creating too much of a hassle for us. As mentioned, we're volunteers, and spending an hour cleaning up your messes isn't going to curry any favor for you. Make enough problems, even if you stay within the rules, and you'll be banned or sent away for some time. Some of you like to stand right on the line and then cry foul when something happens. Guess what? We see you standing on the line, and, stand there long enough, and we'll cease to care that you never actually stepped over it. If you're not banned, are you allowed to complain about things? Of course. But that's because arn allows it, not because you're protected by free speech or whatnot here. There's no rule that says that you need to agree with everything that happens. Complaining isn't the problem. How you complain is important. Mentioning an issue with which you disagree is one thing. Bitching in public about things just because you feel you were wronged? That's something altogether different. Play nice, and things will either never go wrong for you, or, if they do, will be quickly rectified. Treat this site as something to which you're entitled, or goad others into stepping over the line, or spend your days balancing on that line, and you'll soon find more time in your day, as it won't be spent posting here. And for those who wonder why someone was banned, please keep in mind that, not only do we have a long and documented memory of a member's actions, but we also delete and edit posts and threads. So simply searching for "what happened" is usually going to give you a poor idea of what actually happened. For those who wonder why member X was banned and member Y wasn't: member Y got lucky, usually, because X was reported and they weren't. Or X has a history and Y doesn't. Just because someone didn't get banned for what you know you shouldn't have done doesn't mean you'll be so lucky. And, finally, for those who think everyone should be warned before being banned: in an ideal world, I'd agree, most of the time. In the real world, we don't always have the time, especially because you can contact us if you feel the ban is in error. We ban very few of the people who actively post here. Almost all of the ones we banned were doing things they should have known not to do. Some people are banned erroneously, and they're almost always quickly unbanned and given a moderator's salary for a year as compensation.