A ban appeal, on Incels.co, is used to ask a mod from an unban. It is supposed to be directed at the same mod who imposed the original ban, so in that sense, it is more like a motion for reconsideration rather than a true appeal, although since it is publicly posted, other mods will presumably see it and have an opportunity to weigh in on the matter in whatever private communications channel the mods use for such matters. In this sense, it is sort of like a request for a rehearing en banc, although in some cases, the banning admin will have already said, "It was a group decision."
Remorse vs. mitigation dilemma[edit | edit source]
A ban appeal is also somewhat analogous to presentence allocution in a criminal court, in that one may feel compelled to choose between expressing remorse and a willingness to reform, or claiming one's behavior was not objectionable enough to warrant a severe punishment. Both strategies have their risks, since a user who only begs for mercy forgoes the opportunity to point out flaws in the facts and logic underpinning his ban; while a user who only points out said perceived flaws may seem like he has not learned his lesson and therefore would represent a continuing problem for the community if he were unbanned immediately.
One could, however, say, "I disagree with the ban for x, y, and z reasons but if you decide it was just, then I am willing to comply with these expectations you are setting forth, since I don't want to get banned again." The potential problem with this is that a user who refuses to grovel and admit fault for his ban (even if he is just doing so in an effort to placate the concerns of the mods) may be perceived as being at greater risk of recidivism because a user who abases and humiliates himself may be broken enough morally and psychologically, and more desperate to return to the community (and therefore more willing to accept certain requirements, even those that he deems onerous or wrong), than one who maintains he did nothing wrong.
The user who says that he behaved wrongly may feel the need to reduce cognitive dissonance between what he said and how he feels by changing how he feels, and deciding that the mods are indeed right, which could be conducive to his obeying the rules, and accepting their interpretation of said rules, in the future. The theory is, he probably knows he will not have any credibility in challenging the mods in the future after submitting so abjectly in front of everyone, so thus he is more likely to have a submissive attitude.
Another theory has it, though, that the user who apologizes too profusely may hurt his case by exaggerating the wrongfulness of his actions, essentially making the other side's case for them, that what he did was very grievously wrong.
Notable ban appeals[edit | edit source]
Zesto[edit | edit source]
A notable example of semi-grovelling that failed to result in an unban was Zesto's ban appeal; perhaps part of his problem was that in addition to expressing remorse, he attempted to explain his motives in breaking the rules as well, saying, "The only reason I posted on that alt was because I wanted to keep a low profile on the forum while I focus on preparing for my upcoming trip to Japan", "I wasn't trying to be sneaky or disrespect you", etc., and pointing out that his behavior could have been worse, e.g., "When you confronted me on that account I admitted right away that it was my account, and I explained to you why I was using it. I even told you the username of my other alt (and the only other account I had) as a token of good faith that I was not trying to deceive you."
GameDevCel[edit | edit source]
GameDevCel's ban appeal, in which he attempted to perpetrate a fraud on the mods, is widely considered the worst ban appeal of all time.