Good question. We've had a few posts in the past that have covered this topic, but they're old and reflect moderating philosophies we/I don't use as much anymore. So I'll make a bit of a guide on how you can avoid the ban hammer... or, my ban hammer at least. Others might have different standards -- first thing to note is that this is all, of course, subject to discretion, so you might get varying responses. But here's my take.
I'm going to preface this by saying: please do not be worried about getting banned. Unless your behaviour warrants no other solution, you will never be banned without receiving some form of a warning in advance. We don't run some crazy autocracy where you follow our every command or we smack you on the bum. Remember that we don't want to ban you, and will always seek another option should circumstances permit.
With that, though: here's a list of significant offences that will actually get your account banned immediately.
- If your account is clearly intended just to spam the site with trash, then it's a permanent ban on-sight. This includes spam ads and people who are clearly trying to troll or aggravate people off a new account.
- If we find a duplicate account, it is immediately banned as a precaution. Ideally, there will be a discussion with the original account owner to find a final solution. Otherwise, the account stays banned.
- If we can confirm that someone has made multiple accounts and used them maliciously -- especially for vote manipulation -- there's a good chance we will also ban the original account, depending.
- Posting sexually explicit content is a permanent ban. Mildly NSFW content is tolerable, though questionable in a Pokemon community. Use your brain -- you probably know where the line sits with this one.
The activities listed below are general indiscretions that we will keep in mind for possible bans. Notable instances of these will draw a formal warning, or a ban of some description if we're dealing with a repeat offender. Any ban that comes of these will usually be temporary to start with, but nothing is set in stone.
- Don't bring a poor attitude. Be nice to people and keep a level head. Antisocial behaviour like making petty arguments, insulting others, dismissing others, POSTING LIKE THIS, etc. can get you in hot water.
- Following on from the above, do not post harmful, hateful or violent content. Do not threaten others. Do not encourage, post or incite violence, blatant hate speech or other damaging content.
- No voting and flagging abuse, like voting friends repeatedly i.e. 'buddy voting', or spiting people with downvotes or flags. I have little patience for this one in particular. Please keep the points system fair.
- Please do not abuse username changes. The ability to change your name is a privilege -- don't misuse it. Avoiding offensive usernames should be obvious. Do not try to impersonate others.
- Don't troll, or otherwise post beyond the interests of this site. We like a joke as much as anybody, but we also have a pretty formal environment around here. Sh*tposts and the like belong elsewhere.
- If you're told to please stop acting in a certain way, then heed our warning. Often, half the issue with people who end up banned is they refuse to listen. This shows a lack of care that nobody likes.
These last few are minor considerations that probably won't constitute a ban on their own, but will not help your case if they are routinely a problem. This is pretty much the 'lurk more' forum cliche in expanded form -- so usually only a problem for new users.
- Please do not bump up old questions needlessly, or as it's known by some, 'necropost'. This is disruptive, but usually stems from a lack of understanding of our culture and how the navigation operates.
- This probably isn't a very helpful guideline, but don't post low quality content. We're talking one-liner answers with no backing, answers that are guesses, silly or poorly explained questions, etc.
- General immaturity. I understand Pokemon sites will always have a demographic, but regardless, please watch yourself. The 'lol random XDDDD' mentality is really tiring for onlookers.
- A lack of regard for the rules. If you're posting trade requests in the main section or asking for someone to rate your Pokemon Dark Prima Platinum team, it's clear you haven't made much of an effort.
Worth noting also, we can vary the length of bans as we see fit, so not everything is necessarily permanent. I'll also mention: if you disable your wall, you're also disabling our easiest means of contacting you, should you ever end up in strife with any of this. Make of that what you will.