How to Get Unbanned From a Web Forum

Six Parts:Why were you banned?Contacting the moderator or administratorWhat to do nextResponding to a decline to unban youWhat if you consider the moderator abused his or her power?Moving on

If you ever get "forever banned" from your favorite web forum, it's easy to descend into feelings of pure anger or despair because you can't read or post on that forum anymore. If this ever happens to you, then follow the steps below in an attempt to seek reinstatement of your membership.

Part 1
Why were you banned?

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    Read your ban message. If it says you have been blocked forever, then you want to follow the below steps. If it says the ban will eventually expire (for example, a 1 week ban on the 1st would expire on the 8th), then you may want to wait until it expires.
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    Read the reason for your ban closely. The reason will help you to understand what to avoid doing in the future, if your ban was justified. If the ban wasn't justified, decide whether or not this particular forum is worth your time. Based on the decision you have reached, you might or might not want to consider the following step.

Part 2
Contacting the moderator or administrator

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    Contact the forum moderator or administrator. The easiest way to do this is to find "Contact us" or a similar link on the site.
    • Click on it. In the subject field, make it obvious that this is an apology and an inquiry about your ban terms.
    • In the message field, type your explanation of what you actually meant by any comment that upset the moderators and/or community, since moderators may have put a different meaning into what was said on the forum than what was actually meant.
    • Apologize for causing such an unfortunate misunderstanding. End your letter by apologizing and ensuring, and stating that you will be more clear in your posts in the future or that you will not repeat any of the behavior that lead to the ban again and make it clear that you have learned your lesson and are remorseful. Ask whether it is possible to have the ban lifted.
    • If you were involved in a flame war, then explain your POV and how you considered that you were defending yourself against what you saw as unjust claims from another member. However, do not spread blame––while there is always a chance that moderators have banned the wrong person, that is for them to work out. Accept your part in egging on the situation and take full responsibility for your behavior, making it clear that you won't do this again.
    • If your comment was actually offensive, and you regret saying that on the forum, then apologize and promise that this will not happen again in the future.

Part 3
What to do next

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    Decide what you will do next if you aren't successful in getting through. The suggested process involving an apology and explanation might not actually work––you may be blocked from even using a message page or you may not receive a reply at all.
    • If you're logged into your banned account, you may need to log out and use a proxy that can lead you back to the website in its functional state.
    • If there is no response, consider sending an email to the main administrator. That email address often differs from more standard "contact us" emails. Re-type all of the necessary information, then resend your messages. However, you will have to do this through your email server. (Keep in mind that this email address is often not found on the website so you will have to look this email up on website like ,which tracks registration information regarding online websites. It is always possible that more than one email address is listed, so start with an email that is related to the website. If that fails, then consider contacting the main owner/admin through his/her more personal email.)
    • If there is no response, don't send the email over and over. Allow some time between resending your email. If you keep resending the email, it might be considered as spam and that only undermines your case.

Part 4
Responding to a decline to unban you

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    If you receive a negative response and the moderators decline your case, try to send your email again and ask for further clarification.
    • Point out what aspects of their understanding might require clarifying from your end but do not suggest that they are wrongheaded or without grounds, as that will simply demonstrate belligerence and an unwillingness to listen and learn. Instead, communicate that you see their side of things but that you promise to make amends and, if you can, provide a demonstration of some good input that you have made on the site before, to show that you have the ability to continue with that. Send your response to see if that can change their mind.
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    If you do not succeed in overturning a ban, then you may wish to inform the moderator or administrator that you're leaving the site reluctantly and against your will. Say that you are disappointed to no longer be a part of a community that you enjoyed belonging to and that should things change, you'd appreciate the opportunity to return.
    • Avoid making threats, such as not recommending their forum to anyone else, etc., as this will simply confirm that they've made the right decision.
    • Burning your bridges is unwise. Things change quickly in the online world. People who were once in charge change, other people simply move on to the next issue and eventually, you may find that you're forgiven by enough people to return. On the other hand, if you storm off and tear down the people who can help you as you leave, memories will be long and there will be less willingness to let you back.

Part 5
What if you consider the moderator abused his or her power?

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    If you consider that you are a clear case of moderator's power abuse, then informing the admin might be the best thing you can do, since he or she will then reconsider his or her opinion regarding whom he or she trusts with the day-to-day running of the site. However, in very rare cases, the main admin is actually far worse than any of his or her admins regarding power abuse. So emailing him or her regarding your ban might result in your account being banned permanently.

Part 6
Moving on

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    If you are given a definite end to the ban time, consider just sitting out your ban before returning. When you return, you can decide whether or not it's a wise idea to discuss your ban with moderators and or administrators in personal messages. Most importantly, when you do go back in, apologize to the community briefly without making references to blame or any persons––simply say that you have learned your lesson and that you're looking forward to contributing constructively again.
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    On the other hand, if you are still permanently banned, try creating another account if that forum/website allows it. If it doesn't allow this, it's up to you to decide whether or not it's worth circumnavigating this rule, realizing that if you're discovered, you probably won't get any support and will be banned again.
    • If you do rejoin as a new user, you will have to find a new username that is vastly different from your previous one, then you must provide a new email address since the previous one may well be locked with your banned account. You might have to consider using a proxy if your IP is banned, which makes the website inaccessible all together. Even if you're not IP banned, you might still want consider a proxy, since this will make it harder for moderators and admins to compare your new IP to your old one if they notice a similar posting pattern to your old account in your new one. Keep in mind that websites that don't allow banned users to rejoin, are banned without warning.


  • Showing a willingness to learn and improve on your behalf should be the main thrust of all your correspondence. They are not interested in blame and who was right and wrong when it gets to this stage––they are interested most in how you are accepting your part in this and how you are willing to cease challenging the rules that everyone else is able to abide by. Even if you are burning up with the injustice of it all, continue to hammer that point will only strengthen everyone's belief that you aren't going to fit in, that you are likely to rupture things again some time in the future and that instead of learning and growing, you're only interested in point scoring and "winning", which really aren't the point of belonging to a forum.


  • Keep in mind that this is not a guide on how to sue people regarding comments said over the internet or how to sue websites/internet forums regarding words that were said against you. If you're seriously considering suing people, then you will have to consult an attorney who specializes in cases relating to the internet and/or freedom of information act and/or freedom of expression/speech act. However, give yourself plenty of time to reflect on this course of action––it is expensive, it is very public and it can become extremely bitter. Is that what you want for your life, all over an itty bitty forum? There are likely more important battles for you wage in life.

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Categories: Internet Forums and Message Boards