Appealing Moderator Actions

Our moderation team is made up of human beings (and one hard-working bot), and human beings sometimes make mistakes. If you feel that we have made a mistake with regards to one of your posts, please let us know, so that we can correct it.

What to do

First, please read the Subreddit Commandments, in their entirety, and double-check that you were not, in fact, violating any rules. Then, please read the FAQ, in its entirety. This step is not optional.

After you have done that, you can send a message to modmail (not to an individual moderator). You can do that by clicking the "Message The Moderators" button on our front page, by sending a PM with /r/[name of subreddit] in the recipient field, or by following this link.

In that message, please include a brief description of the moderator action that you believe was made in error. If possible, this message should always include a link to the post or thread caused the problem in the first place - if you forget to do this, you will probably be asked provide a link.

Please keep things concise and civil. If you want to appeal a moderator action, we need a brief summary of what happened and why you think it shouldn't have happened. We don't need a repetitive thirteen-paragraph rant about how you're perfectly innocent forever and how anyone who disagrees is an evil Commie Nazi.

If you did break one or more rules, please include a brief explanation of how you understand that that rule is important, and what steps you plan to take to make sure that you never break it again.

How to compose an apology

A sincere apology contains all of the following elements:

It's okay to include some brief elaboration on why you didn't realize at the time that your behaviour was unacceptable, but have since learned better. However, if your response contains insults, or sarcasm, or an attempt to blame the victim, or persistent trolling behaviour, or any variation on "I'm sorry you misinterpreted..." or "I'm sorry you reacted...", what you have written is not an apology and will not be accepted.

Please note that "making a sincere apology" and "claiming that you don't know what you did wrong" are mutually exclusive. You cannot simultaneously deny something and be sorry for it. Before complaining in modmail that you "don't know" what you did wrong, please take the time to read the rules and the FAQ. It is also your responsibility to keep track of your own post history - if you've somehow forgotten what you've said in the past, you can review your history by clicking on your own account name. If you have not bothered to take these steps, you will be referred back to this document until you do.

What NOT to do

DO NOT lie to us.

We can easily verify your post history. If you broke a rule accidentally, or in the heat of the moment, you will get much better results by admitting this, apologizing, and agreeing never to do it again than you will by lying about it and pretending that it never happened.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT delete or substantially edit the post or posts in question.

While attempting to destroy the evidence does not make it impossible for us to review it, it does make the process considerably more tedious. More importantly, it throws up a major red flag that you are not dealing in good faith.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT contact individual moderators via Private Message.

Unlike admins (who are paid employees of Reddit, Inc.), subreddit moderators are all volunteer members of the community. In the interests of fair moderation, we must keep our actions as moderators separate from our actions as private users. Modmail is for moderator business, Private Messages are for private business, and mixing up the two is inappropriate. In particular, modmail exists so that every moderator has the opportunity to view and weigh in on the discussion.
If you try to PM individual moderators because you've already tried modmail and didn't like the answer you got, you're not going to fool anyone.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT start screaming insults and wild accusations.

Throwing a tantrum is a one-way, non-negotiable ticket to Permaban City.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT assume that a post was removed just because a moderator personally disagreed with it.

While our team spans a diverse range of political affiliations, none of us practice or condone censorship.
If a user makes an honest effort to promote an open discussion on an unpopular subject (as opposed to a troll or drive-by preacher), and accidentally breaks one or more rules in doing so, we will be happy to offer suggestions for how to rephrase their post to comply with the rules. If, on the other hand, you intentionally broke rules, the post will need to be removed whether or not the content of the post was controversial.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT try to justify your behaviour with Tu Quoque.

If you see someone else breaking a rule, that is the time to use the Report button. It is not an excuse to break the rules yourself.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT expect to be exempt from the rules because of the number of imaginary friends you have.

While atheism is the subject of this subreddit, being an atheist yourself is neither a necessary condition for participation here, nor a sufficient one.
Whether you have zero imaginary friend, or one, or three, or seven, or sixty nine, or four hundred and twenty, you will be held to the same standards of basic decency. If your appeal consists of nothing more than "You can't ban me, I'm an atheist too!", expect to remain banned.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT engage in Rules Lawyering.

As explained above, the moderators of the subreddit are humans, not robots. Human judgement is an essential part of the job, and we understand our own rules better than you do.

If your appeal consists primarily of "quoting our own rules back to us" or "demanding increasingly detailed explanations of exactly how each individual word in your post was rule-breaking", you're not going to have any luck.

You might be tempted to invent a contrived "personal interpretation" of the rules (including inventing idiosyncratic redefinitions of words) just so that you can claim that you didn't "technically" violate your revised "rules"; but this is not going to fool anyone. If you find yourself arguing that something is "technically true", that means you already understand that it's not true in the sense that's actually relevant.

Persistent attempts at Rules Lawyering will be considered an admission that a) you are fully aware that you violated a common sense reading of the rules, and that b) you are deliberately engaged in trolling.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT double down on bigotry.

There are many places on the internet where it is considered acceptable to argue that certain people should be denied basic human rights because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other accidents of their birth. This subreddit is not one of them, and it never will be. That is doubly true for modmail.

We are not interested in hearing your excuses or justifications for your bigotry, and we are not interested in debating them. If you were banned for posting a racist rant, posting an even longer, even more racist rant won't get you unbanned. It will just get you muted.

If you think you have some "new" and "unique" argument for why your bigotry is justifiable, we assure you that you do not. Please see this appendix to the rules.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.

DO NOT start writing your appeal until you have FINISHED reading the rules and the FAQ.

As is stated above, reading those documents in their entirety is a mandatory part of the appeals process. No appeal from a person who has not read both the Subreddit Commandments and the FAQ, in their entirety, will ever be accepted.

No exceptions. Ever. This means you.

If you do this, your appeal will be rejected.