Amateur psychoanalysis ahead.
There's been a lot of banning of reregistering banned users - referred to as 'reregs' around these parts - in the last few weeks. Some of the bannings have been followed by wonderment at the fact that people keep reregging.
I got to have a conversation with the brilliant Becca Martin the other day. She's the Community Manager at EveryBlock, another MSNBC.com property [which, if it's in your city, you should totally check out.] The EveryBlock userbase is a lot smaller than ours, and bannings are a lot less frequent. She was surprised that anyone would register over and over only to keep getting banned.
I used to be surprised by that when I first arrived, but now I get it. There are two types of users who tend to reregister the most - people who were banned for multiple accounts, and people who have used the site a lot who get banned or suspended. I think what motivates reregistration for both is entitlement.
Hey, this is the internet! I'm supposed to be able to do what I want! ... I'm going to register another account!
Hey, I've been doing this a long time! You can't take that away from me! ... I'm going to register another account!
Both these approximate reactions have been sent to us after reregged accounts are banned. Both of them seem pretty natural to have, though personally I'm more sympathetic to the second than the first. This is Newsvine, not the internet at large. There are rules.
Given that there are rules, veterans tend to know them and follow them, and may be more likely to disagree with their suspension or banning. Suspensions and bans generally don't have a high approval rate amongst people being suspended and banned, and if you've been actively using the site for a long time, it would be logical that you'd feel empowered to keep using a site you like. And hey, registration takes a minute.
The next step is a little harder for me to understand. Many reregs tap out after one reincarnation. Most before four. Some seemingly keep coming back forever. So what motivates that?
I've sometimes tried to reason with reregs during the banning by pointing out it takes us a lot less time to ban them than they've spent registering and using the site [usually, with reregs that numerous, trolling the site]. It doesn't seem to work.
Occasionally, users rehab when they return to the site and get reported not off violations but writing style. [Or spidey-sense.] That's kind of a bummer. One of the hypotheticals Sally and I have talked about is if a banned user comes back and is a great, CoH-compliant user for a year and we discovered they were a banned user. Do we ban them? Unfortunately for them, the answer's yes.
Because of this, if you're a banned user reading this - which seems likely given the last few weeks - know that a reregged account is almost always a short-lived enterprise. Sure, if you change your writing style and follow all the rules, we'll probably never check you. But how often has that happened? In any case, active users will keep reporting like so, and we'll keep banning and blocking.
I linked a Viner speculating that reregs must be shills. I doubt it. I don't think payment would be enough to motivate people to reregister as many times as some have, and I think a lot of reregs are motivated by knowing that discussions have value on Newsvine - whether they're returning to wreck them or participate in them. Good for us.