I'm the Ban Hammer. Nice to Meet You

Finding yourself in the awkward position of not being able to contribute to HackerNoon anymore? Well, then most likely you’ve been banned™. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

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The signs are aplenty: you can’t access the editor; your stories have been removed; you received an angry worded note from our support team; you magically have a mustache.

It might have been a great tango, but you’ve finally met the ban hammer. Thankfully, HackerNoon does violators the courtesy of explaining why their dance with HackerNoon has come to an end (unlike that date who won’t respond to your text messages).

Broadly speaking, you could be banned for any of the following reasons:

  • Plagiarism
  • Link spam
  • Explicit/adult content spam (gambling, porn, drugs, all the bad stuff)
  • SEO content spam

That said, some violations are more serious than others. In the interest of transparency, we’d like to explain our thought process and methodology for passing out bans to violators.

Process (No, HackerNoon Editors Are NOT Assh*les)

Let’s get this straight: we don’t WANT to ban you. In fact, we’d like you to keep contributing to HackerNoon and be part of a healthy ecosystem that keeps on giving back to its readers. As a routine matter, HackerNoon editors are more likely to ignore minor infringements (including some that are listed below) and give ample opportunities to major violators to explain themselves before passing out a ban.

A ban review typically starts from a user’s problematic submission, is aided by internal HackerNoon tools (in the case of plagiarism), followed by a variety of other checks (user history, nature of violation, editorial guidelines), and a notification to the rest of the editorial team of the proposed action if a discussion is warranted.

Most infringements usually result in a warning and ‘grey listing’ of violators so they can be monitored for future violations; in some cases, a short-term ban is issued. Serious or repeated violations (3-strike rule) result in a perma ban.

HackerNoon editors are rarely wrong when passing out a ban, though users are welcome to appeal their case by contacting our support team.

Minor Infractions — Warning + Short-term Ban (sometimes)

  1. Forgetting to cite a source while carrying over a bit of text from another website/publication (affectionately known as casual plagiarism)
  2. Violating our backlinks guide
  3. Or just being a persistent SEO chad for no apparent reason

Any of the above will result in a stern warning from one of our editors and sometimes a short-term ban, typically lasting up to a month.

In doing so, your user account will also be flagged and closely monitored for further violations. Repeat offenders will be permanently banned.

In case of minor infringements, you’ll have to get in touch with our support team to explain that you understand what you did wrong and, hopefully, have your account unbanned.

Major Infractions — Lifetime Ban

The nasty stuff.

Lifetime bans are typically passed on to:

  1. Blatant plagiarizers
  2. Bots
  3. Users hell bent on repeatedly violating our rules, including promoting things like drugs, sex, and gambling
  4. Users who add promotional or spam backlinks to their already-published story on HackerNoon, even if it’s the first time they’re caught doing so

A special note on plagiarism: copy-pasting or paraphrasing swathes of text from already published work over the internet without proper citation is a big no no at HackerNoon (and the rest of the world) and will result in an immediate ban, even for first-time violators. You can try fooling our plagiarism checkers, but you won’t fool the editors.

Users that seriously violate our rules will be stripped of all of their privileges and any and all previously submitted and published content from their account will disappear from our website via a takedown.

In short

All of this is common sense stuff. Thou shalt not steal other people’s work; thou shalt not hide promotion for your brand via a personal account; thou shalt not break our rules; you get the idea.

So be smart, and don’t get in the ban hammer’s way.