AGP: User Suspension & Community Guidelines

Last week, I made the extremely difficult decision to suspend one of our longstanding community members. Though I won’t be getting into specifics here out of respect for the individual, this decision resulted from numerous infractions of our community guidelines, particularly those regarding offensive language, antagonistic/harassing behavior, and respect for staff and guild leaders as representatives of Ackerly Green.

To prevent any confusion regarding this decision, I wanted to publicly explain what goes into making a decision like this, and what our official policy is regarding anyone who repeatedly shows disregard for the community guidelines.

When the decision to suspend someone is made, the individual is notified by email of the decision and the reasoning behind it. This email is the final communication between the individual and Ackerly Green. I do not hold grudges or any personal vendettas against anyone, neither does Catherine, but we simply can’t afford to spend any more time than has already gone into an already difficult decision on one person who has repeatedly shown they cannot respect and uphold our community values. This is the first time we have ever had to do something like this in over three years, but this is how we will continue to proceed should we ever need to take similar action again.

Honestly, it sucks to have to do this, and it’s made us feel sick to our stomachs as humans. It’s not a decision we came to easily, but at the end of the day we are a business with a community to protect, and suspending someone who infringes on the guidelines that make our community so special, and threatens the safety and security of our business and fellow members is well within our responsibilities to this company and community.

I’ve always said that our community is at the heart of everything we do at Ackerly Green. Although this is a business, we have made a point of never treating you all as just customers. Rather, we see each and every one of you as individuals with the potential to bring magic and wonder into this community, and we recognize and are completely humbled by the effect that Ackerly Green has had on your lives as well. It was for this reason that many of the aforementioned infractions on behalf of this particular individual were either overlooked or patiently dealt with over the past two years. And to be clear, this individual was fully aware of their infractions. They received multiple official warnings.

We pride ourselves in being a safe space that can feel like home for our community members, but when one individual continuously attempts to undermine the shared trust of the Ackerly Green community, as well as the community’s trust in Ackerly Green, at a certain point we can no longer tolerate such behavior.

I realize that many of you have personal relationships beyond the forum, and I think that’s wonderful. However, I also realize that these relationships can be vulnerable to those who may try to take advantage of them as an opportunity to express their frustration with the decision. Although there’s not much we can do about someone’s behavior once they’ve been suspended, if you have any questions or concerns or have been put into a situation where someone else has made you feel uncomfortable, please feel free to let us know privately.

We treat your trust in us with the utmost respect, and we hope that by being transparent with you about this process, you can continue to trust us to create a safe, welcoming, and fun space for everyone who is willing to reciprocate those values.

I am currently out of town at the annual Ackerly Green Summit (where we develop future narratives and plans) but Catherine will be checking this topic for questions you may have, and I’ll follow up next week when I’m back in the office. :cjheart:


Hmm so no shunning? At any point does the perpetrator (or accused depending on the possibility of “safe space” violations) get a chance to have a 1 on 1 with their guild leader and discuss their views on certain rules or the view taken on their (accused’s) actions as dependent on the person, say they have autism or something similar they often say one thing but someone without autism might find it threating or a violation when it was not meant in that manner. Just food for thought…

This is from my phone so I apologize in advance for grammatical errors!


Hey Ignatius! Since CJ is at his retreat, I figured I would go ahead and respond to your concerns.

In this case, the individual was given the opportunity to discuss each warning and rule infraction. They did so both with their guild leader, other leaders, as well as CJ and Catherine before they were suspended. In regards to your concern about how these infractions are handled, we, as a leadership team, do take into account factors like autism. We really do try to be an inclusive and open community, and that includes unique, neurodiverse individuals. Each of us has different backgrounds - culturally, neurologically, and more. Thus, all of us have to work to accomodate the needs and understandings of each other to make an inclusive community built on respect. The situation that CJ is informing the community about here goes beyond this.

If you’d like to discuss this more, please feel free to reach out to me (since I’m the poster here) or Augo since he’s one of your guild leaders!


I appreciate your transparency. It’s unfortunate when kindness is not enough to overcome problems - but your efforts and thought into the decision are commendable.


I wanted to add something because there was some confusion about the timeframe of a permanent suspension.

When a user is permanently suspended, the forum platform we use (called Discourse) can’t technically suspend a user “forever” but instead adds an inability for that account to post until a very far off date in the future.

So, if someone were to be suspended today, their bio would say “Suspended until October 24th, 3019.”

I just wanted to clarify that this is a baked-in element of the system and not an arbitrary date chosen by me or leadership.