Bans

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The Banhammer at the moment of striking, depicted as a statue.
Screenshot of the moment when MinecraftOnline's ban count crossed into four figures.
Screenshot of a graph of bans over time showing an initially exponential trend followed a gradual decline in velocity caused by a decrease in the number of griefers left unbanned. Image updated March 2015
What it looks like to be banned.
A graph showing number of banned as well as unbanned players for a given number of hours played online, as well as number of registered players. Probability of being banned drops sharply after 1 hour played online.
A graph showing the probability of being banned, against number of hours played. On the same graph are stacked probabilities of being promoted to moderator or admin for comparison. See an interactive version of this chart.
Graph showing probability of a ban for registered and unregistered players.

"im going to ban you now... is that ok?" - getplayerhead.sh?Tu4tle&16.png Tu4tle
"what a banhammer?" -getplayerhead.sh?Rachupranger&16.png Rachupranger


Rules MinecraftOnline is a server with zero tolerance for grief, and a highly effective moderator team. As a result, this server has a large (and constantly growing) number of bans.

However, bannable offences are very strictly limited, and moderators and admins are given no opportunity to abuse their power. This server has an important focus on absolute free speech. Although some players may find themselves offended as a result, we feel this is much better than the alternative - a repressive society where everyone fears to express themselves in case they find themselves excluded from the community by an angry moderator.

Contents

What can get you banned

But how do you know?

MinecraftOnline logs every occurrence of any player breaking any man-made block, as well as some naturally occurring ones. All moderators online are notified instantly of any such breakage. Even if a moderator does not catch the event at the time, when grief is later discovered or reported, an admin will always locate and ban the culprit after the event based on log evidence.

What can not get you banned

MinecraftOnline is proud of its absolute free speech rule. It is not possible to get banned for:

  • Anything you say, aside from spamming. This includes:
    • Swearing;
    • Personal attacks;
    • Racial or cultural insults;
    • Asking to be banned.
  • Killing other players in PVP (as long as it does not degenerate into bullying).
  • Stealing items from chests (as long as access is not obtained through griefing).

Automated Banning

The server previously featured an automated kick system for individuals detected as using a flymod to fly around, although this is currently disabled due to too many false positives.

However there is no automated ban mechanism in place protecting individual structures, the reasoning behind this is:

"Autobans... we'd prefer not to, it's something that's been discussed before. But there have been cases of people fixing things and getting pulled up as griefers, etc. It does need a layer of human sanity checking to prevent any accidental autobans. The idea that people could be banned automatically kind of undermines the credibility of our entire ban system. Although it's a lot more work, this [existing manual] way we can say that each of our bans have been signed off and checked by a genuine approved human being, who can be held accountable for them afterwards. So nobody can claim they were banned in error by a faulty robot. The other problem with this is the potential reliability of any such system. But I am considering an interrogation holding system that people could be automatically assigned to pending an interview with a moderator... although I'm not sure I'd want to automatically deal with that either." - SlowRiot 16th April 2011

Appeals

"ihave a question... when ur banned... do u lose all ur stuff?" -getplayerhead.sh?Mewtolvlx&16.png Mewtolvlx

If a player feels they have been banned wrongly - either through a moderator error, or due to a mistake on their part as opposed to malicious action - then that player may appeal their case to an admin on IRC. All appeals must be conducted via IRC and by the banned player himself.

We will not accept appeals

  • In-game by friends of the banned player.
  • In IRC by friends of the banned player.
  • In-game by the banned player through an alternate account.
    • This will most likely result in the alternate account being banned as well.

Success

The administrative team aim to be reasonable with all of their bans, and invite open dialogue. An appeal will always be heard in full, as long as it is presented in a civilised fashion. However, an appeal is subject to whether the original ban may have been in error, or if it was for genuine grief. Only a minority of appeals are accepted - specifically, those where the admins are convinced that the player in question acted in good faith and without malicious intent, and will not pose a risk to others' work if allowed back on to the server.

Vouching

In borderline cases, an admin may ask for a banned player to find another player in-game to vouch for them. In this case, the vouching player would be required to accept responsibility for all actions by the player to be unbanned. If the unbanned player were to grief again, both they and the player who vouched for them would be banned. As a result, it is very rare that anyone opts to vouch for a banned player. This is usually a very effective litmus test of an individual's true colours, and their friends' faith in them as a trustworthy individual.

What doesn't work

Begging, threats, talk of "hacked accounts" and denial of log evidence are the four top ways to have a ban appeal rejected.

Banhammer

Artist's impression of the Banhammer
Krenath wielding the Banhammer

The Banhammer is the colloquial term for the abstract metaphorical instrument with which griefers are banned.

Bans are announced both in game chat and in IRC, with a current ban count.

Common misconceptions

  • "Logging off will prevent me from being banned" - Although true of the vanilla server, this has not been the case at MinecraftOnline for a very long time.
  • "If you ignore them, they'll go away" - This is bad advice in life as well as Minecraft. It doesn't work for bullies on the school bus, and it doesn't work for moderators checking out a grief alert. If you do not respond when questioned about something you broke, a moderator is likely to assume malicious intent.
  • "If I just kill this guy, he won't come back" - See above. Although moderators are mortal and will not ban for PVP kills, it is not particularly wise to attack someone who has just teleported over to investigate an alert you caused.
  • "If I run away / hide, he won't catch me" - See above. Running away when questioned is a brilliant way to admit guilt.
  • "If I insult an admin, i'll get banned" - This may be true on every other server, but not here. Absolute free speech is very important to us.
  • "I got banned for no reason!" - Although often stated this way, it is dubious as to whether anyone saying this truly believes it. All bans at MinecraftOnline are fully accountable, and even if the moderator responsible cannot remember why he or she banned you, the logs certainly will.
  • "If I appeal they have to let me back in" - Sorry, but no... the majority of ban appeals are rejected, because the original reason for the ban still stands, and the culprit has done nothing to convince us they will not grief again.

Is n banned?

  • Use the command /isplayerbanned player in-game to find out whether player is currently on our ban list.
  • The /banwhy player command is used to search for a player's ban reason.
  • The IRC equivalent command is !why player.
  • Ban info is also shown on the Control Panel

Trivia

  • Players getplayerhead.sh?itachi0501&16.png itachi0501 and getplayerhead.sh?dethshok&16.png dethshok have been banned and unbanned the most times (indicating erroneous / duplicate bans), with 4 successful appeals each.
  • Banned player getplayerhead.sh?sgandie1000&16.png sgandie1000 has attempted to connect more times than any other after being banned, with 67 connection attempts each telling him clearly that he is permanently banned. Former regular getplayerhead.sh?Mrcrazysalad&16.png Mrcrazysalad is a close runner up, with 60 connection attempts post-ban, at the time of writing.

See also


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