Expiring Demerits

Generally I have been pretty happy with how the demerits scheme has worked.  Ultimately everyone comments here at my pleasure, but the scheme has given some transparency around what sort of comments I regard as unacceptable. It also generally seems to work in providing an incentive for people to be less trollish once they have some demerits.

Not that I wish it to be an expect replica of the traffic demerits scheme, but I do wonder whether I should allow demerits to disappear after a period of time, so that someone doesn’t end up suspended one day for say five comments spread over four years which attracted demerits.

There seem to me to be two ways I could let demerits expire.  They are:

  1. x months after a demerit was given, it expires
  2. y months after the last demerit was given, all current demerits expire

My thinking is along the lines of x=12 if I implement (1) and probably y=6 if I implement (2). Feedback on these are welcome. I note most people end up suspended do so for comments over one to two months.

Another issue is whether I should should ever reset people’s suspension histories, say after an election. So if someone had been suspended for two months prior to an election, and then after the election they were suspended again, it would be back to just one week instead of four months. In theory as I plan to keep this going for many years, some people could end up with year long etc. On the other hand I don’t see much merit in helping recidivist offenders 🙂

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