I screenshot this now deleted post. As anyone could've seen then, and you can see now, I blockquoted, and linked to, that Reddit comment. Doubtless I never intended to "plagiarize".

I admit my citation doesn't follow the 3 major citation styles, but I don't think Biology SE requires them? I can't recall the exact wording, but when I messaged our moderators, a moderator replied the Reddit comment was "weakly attributed".

Then I replied that even if "weakly attributed", I oughtn't be suspended for:

  1. I was eager to rectify the issue by citing the comment however the moderator desired.

  2. the issue could be effortlessly rectified not only by me, but any moderator.

  3. this is the first time that a moderator has accused me of plagiarism here. Other Stack Exchanges freely allow Reddit comments linked to, and blockquoted, as I did.

  4. I was never given a chance to explain. I was suspended for 30 days forthwith after Prof. Krause deleted my post.

But I didn't receive a reply, and I was suspended for the 30 days.

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Based solely on your description of events, it’s absurd that your question was deleted by a moderator and even more absurd that you were banned for 30 days. You might try contacting Stack Exchange about this. $\endgroup$
    – canadianer
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 23:26
  • $\begingroup$ @canadianer Thanks for your understanding. Of course I stand to be corrected if my description of events isn't accurate. I'm hoping for someone to reply here, before contacting SE. $\endgroup$
    – user4466
    Commented Sep 6, 2020 at 0:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I welcome you to contact SE. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Sep 8, 2020 at 16:16

1 Answer 1


It's always difficult to judge these issues from the outside, I can't see any information only moderators would have. So I'll try to keep my comments to the general issues around the things you have made public.

A 30 day suspension is unusual as the first suspension, the typical progression is 7, 30, 365 days. Sometimes a longer suspension is issued even for the first rule violation, but that is not all that common and mostly for something like extremely offensive comments or other kinds of significant misbehaviour. For not attributing a quote properly I would generally start with a warning only.

The attribution of the quote is quite hidden, so I'd certainly agree that this could be improved. This doesn't go as far as plagiarism in my opinion as it's still marked clearly as a quote, it's just potentially confusing what exactly are you quoting.

The post has some quality issues, I found it rather confusing and I'm not sure what exactly the question is. Though that certainly isn't enough for a suspension unless you have a ton of bad deleted posts I can't see.

In summary, the description of the events and the punishment don't fit together in my opinion. But the community can't really judge specific events like this, as the important information is only visible to you and the moderators. So this is a case where you can contact SE directly.


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