Update (5/28/03): The information in this journal is outdated and no longer reflects the state of Slashcode; this journal remains as a historical record but is no longer accurate.
Quite a few of you are aware of the existence of this post which has currently been moderated over 700 times. Many of you are also aware of this discussion created by CmdrTaco for users to have a META discussion about topics on Slashdot.
Few, however, are aware of what is happening to the people who moderated up the post in question. They are being systematically banned from Moderating and Metamoderating. Every last one of them. The phrase "being $rtbl'd" refers to the tripping of a silent flag called "$rtbl" in a user's Slashdot account record which removes that user's ability to Moderate and Metamoderate.
Finding out whether you've been $rtbl'd is possible. Here's how. If you are allowed to Metamoderate, you will be given the option to Metamoderate at the top of your browser every day. After you Metamod, the dialog will go away till the next day. If you are $rtbl'd, the dialog will go away and never come back. It's that simple.
I've opened this journal up for comments. I'd like to hear from anyone who moderated up The Post, on whether or not you've lost moderation priveleges. So far every single respondent has indicated that their moderation priveleges are gone. No response has been received from anyone @slashdot.org about this either.
I'd also like to hear from the Slashdot audience: do you believe that this action is fair or unfair?
Update: 1/28/2002. At this point, the fact that every moderator who moderated up the post in question has been banned from the moderation system is no longer in doubt. Every single person who has replied in this discussion has confirmed their loss of moderation privleges. Repeated requests to the editors in the Slashdot META thread for confirmation of this fact as well as repeated requests via email for confirmation have all gone ignored. The message appears to be that moderators will be banned for moderating posts like these up, and the Editors don't want to talk about it. This is their right - and I'm content to continue to discuss it in my journal. On topic.
Update: 1/30/2002 I'd like to invite anyone interested in the topic of Moderator banning to read my research paper on the subject, which addresses such questions as the percentage of banned moderators on Slashdot (appx. 5 to 18%), as well as the motivations and impacts of removing users from the voting pool. In the absence of any word from folks @slashdot.org, this paper stands as the definitive work on Slashdot Moderator bans. Remember, Metamoderation confirms that Editors moderate fairly, but only people who haven't been blacklisted get a vote...