Perhaps I could shed a bit of light on this (if Arani hasn't already
I used to think that the banning was excessive, but my perspective of things has changed quite a bit in the past month. Of the bans FM mentioned, all of them clearly broke the rules, except for Amanda, but I'll get to that in a minute. What's the point of having rules if they are not enforced?
I know what you're thinking. The bans seem unfair, and a bit suspicious. We like to joke around and such, and that's totally fine. I know that even I have occasionally posted some questionable things, that, under the right conditions, could be viewed by some as offensive.
But they weren't. And that's really what this is all about. The reason why sometimes members can break the rules and get away with it is because nobody gets offended. When somebody does get offended, that's when action is taken.
If I were a mod back when Sillydog was banned, I would have, at most, edited her post to remove the questionable content. After all, it was only supposed to be a joke, and that isn't any reason to ban anyone. And, that's probably what most of the members here thought too.
But, as most of you probably don't know, there was a parent that complained about Sillydog's post being inappropriate for this site. This changes the situation quite a bit. It means there's a disagreement somewhere, and that's where the rules come into the picture. And, when you look at it that way, that's how Sillydog earned her ban.
Same with Noah. Noah was banned for hacking into Arani's account. That's a severe offense, which, if you read the rules, you would know that such an offense automatically gets a permaban. I know it isn't the first time someone used someone else's account, but in the other scenarios, nobody cared enough to do anything. If nobody gets upset, then why ban anyone? There's no reason for that.
Although I didn't actually see anything, Amanda was clearly trying to disrupt the forum, especially at Noah's expense, and that's why she was banned. She knew what she was doing, and she knew the consequences. It was intentional, and since it caused disruption to other members, action had to be taken. There really isn't much grey area to be interpreted here.
Flip, I'm not sure what you were banned for, but if you feel that you have been treated unfairly, there really isn't much I can do about it now. All I can say is to stay within the rules, and that goes for everyone. They don't exist for no reason at all. They exist to keep the forum clean and running smoothly.
Sure, sometimes some members have broken the rules and gotten away with it, but for anyone who continues to do so, it is only inevitable that someone else will report it eventually. And when that happens, that's when the respective action is taken, based on the rules.
I hope I've helped to clear things up a bit. If not, let me know, and I'll try again.Oh, and one last thing, there actually isn't anything in the rules about posting private information (such as pictures of another member) on the forum. Such an amendment may or may not be necessary.