Persistently-Abusive Individuals Policy

This policy describes special disciplinary procedure for users who continue to be abusive consistently or extensively, or whose activities require customized handling by staff due to the nature of their abuse. Such cases are expected to be infrequent.


No user may be designated as a persistently-abusive individual without meeting all of the following qualifications:

  • The user has received a permanent ban from the site.
  • The user is considered very unlikely to have their ban overturned.
  • The user is continuing to extensively engage in abusive behavior.
  • Staff believe that normal public logging of offenses is either unhelpful or actively harmful, either to the site, to case management, or to the mental health of staff.

Additionally, the user must not be under the purview of the Anti-Harassment Team. The Anti-Harassment Team has the authority to upgrade a case to their sole purview, at which time team policy would govern management of the case. Likewise, the team may downgrade an existing case to a PAI case, providing staff with the relevant information needed to manage the matter.

Trolls, spree vandals, and other malicious users should receive a normal disciplinary thread like with other disciplinary cases, and should only be upgraded to PAI status if they continue to engage in abuse over the long term, or if extingent circumstances apply.


If a user meets the above requirements, and has been designated as persistently abusive by a consensus of staff, then the following altered procedures apply for their disciplinary management. Note that an O5 vote or deliberation on the disciplinary thread is not required for consensus, but instead a discussion should occur within sensitive staff chat.

  • The PAI records page is updated with the new user marked as persistently abusive. Notably, no public notice is made of this designation, whether on their Disciplinary thread or other public notice areas of O5.
  • Each PAI user will get its own page in the private section of O5. All relevant information regarding the case will be recorded there.
    • What information is considered relevant is determined on a case-by-case basis by staff. Remember, the goal is to effectively utilize staff's time rather than record all information exhaustively, and so what information is recorded and how it is structured should be specifically adapted to each troll's modus operandi.
    • Any accidental public updates are to be wiped by an O5 moderator/administrator, and moved to the tracking page (if needed).
  • Staff are informed internally about the PAI status of the user, and that they are to log any new incidents or information on the tracking page.
  • While a PAI status exists for a user, they cannot be considered for unbanning, and are not permitted to submit any ban appeals.

Specific information on PAI procedure is located on the staff-only PAI records page.


It should be emphasized that PAI status should only be applied when the extensively abusive nature of the individual is obvious, and there is little doubt that they will potentially become a re-accepted site member in the future. However in the case that a mistake is made, or an unexpected situation arises, this clause may be utilized.

Staff may, at its discretion, lift the PAI status from a user. This may only occur if the requirements for the status no longer apply, and clear extenuating circumstances justify the reversal.

The reversal of a PAI status does not automatically constitute an unban or a state of good standing on the site. For instance, it is possible for a user to remain permanently banned, but to no longer be considered persistently abusive. In this case, a regular disciplinary thread is maintained, in line with standard procedure.

Following a reversal, all private records of the user's activities should be moved to the appropriate disciplinary or non-disciplinary threads on the regular O5 forum. Any other adjustments made as part of PAI management should be undone, according to staff's determination.

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