Requests to be left alone in response to warnings from curators

I understand that we are supposed to respect requests to be left alone, but I am wondering how to deal with such requests being made in response to warnings from curators

For example if I message someone and ask them not to do X because it is against the rules, but they keep doing it so I message them later and say doing X can get you suspended, and then they do Y which is against a rule that is not obvious (misunderstanding of how to use site, not malicious), so I message them and explain that they are not supposed to do Y, and they respond by asking me not to contact them again.

In this case what do I do if they continue to do X or Y, or start doing Z community guidelines violation? Any more warnings or explanations of rules would be failing to respect their request to be left alone, but not warning them would mean either they get suspended without warning or they are able to keep breaking rules without being suspended. Asking another curator to warn them just seems like a roundabout way of not respecting the request to be left alone

Also, I presume the request to be left alone does not prevent me from hiding or flagging rule breaking comments by this user?

To be clear I am talking about situations where my only interaction with the person is in a moderation context as a curator, not situations where there is some sort of personal dispute between me and the person I’m warning.


As someone who deals with this sort of thing in a different website, I’d argue that by asking not to be contacted after several warnings, they have forfeited their right to be warned further and you should just block them if they need to be. If they want they can later contest the block, in which case they can be told what happened exactly.


On iNat “blocking” refers to blocking someone from interacting with you and your observations, are you using it to mean suspending their account?


Leave me alone, those rules don’t apply to me.
(Also a moderator on a different website - where I would block and delete according to the site rules)


I’m not sure what you mean here?


The moderator warns about breaking rules, then follows thru with that website’s process. “Leave me alone” does not affect how the moderator behaves.
Hide and flag according to iNat’s guidelines.


I agree, but there is still an issue of warnings and suspensions

My view is that curators straightforwardly applying iNat policies should be exempt from respecting a request by the user to be left alone. I would follow the usual process of warnings and ultimately support suspending the user if the conduct continues. There is no need to engage with them outside of the context of their problematic behavior.

Certainly no one is required to interact with other users if they don’t want, but that doesn’t trump the requirement to respect iNat guidelines.


Yup, I agree with Rupert. If you want, you can ask another curator for their thoughts as well.


This is somehow similar to those cases in which users are totally unresponsive. The result is that they go on doing what they want.

I think that things would not change if someone else would tell them not to use iNat that way. Moreover, if you have warned them many times explaining what should not be done, I think you have done everything that is in your possibilities. At this point, maybe, the suspension should be considered.

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I think a last message along the lines of “As a curator on iNat, it is my responsibility to enforce the site’s policies and rules. Part of that role is communicating with people who do things that violate those policies and rules. If that doesn’t work, it is my responsibility to suspend the account. If you really don’t want me to communicate with you again, please be advised that further contraventions, deliberate or inadvertent, will result in your account’s suspension. Your call. Have a nice day.”


I’d also tell them that if they have a complaint, they can submit it to iNaturalist at