Whenever a member of the boards is banned (and believe me, it's fewer times than some would like you to believe), there seems to be an immediate, predictable criticism of the staff of this website for what they deem to be inappropriate handling of the matter. This, in my experience, is almost always due to lack of information about the entire situation. Thus, I've decided that it would be prudent to begin explaining my rationale when I choose to take action regarding a forum member--Something which I previously did not do out of respect for the person who was being banned.
Two member names were banned recently which, in all likelihood, correspond to the same person. This incident began with the locking of LionHeart012's topic which stated that Aeris could still be alive because a large stomach wound isn't terribly serious and getting dumped in a lake and sinking to the bottom (and appearing in the Lifestream, et cetera) aren't conclusive evidence that a person is dead. My co-administrator, LordBrian, locked the thread; I assume he found it against all common sense. This is also a pretty clear request from a staff member about post content.
Lionheart012, instead of going through appropriate channels, chose to make a (rather unconvincing) public defense of himself. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently bad about doing that. However, creating a new thread to continue to discuss a topic which was locked is not a wise idea. Just because one thinks the original topic was "unfairly" or "wrongly" locked in one's mind does not make it all right to create a new thread on it, especially when one has made no effort to go through official channels to protest the original decision to lock.
Regarding the most recent topic, Avalanche II, I think it's painfully obvious why it was locked. I'd like to defend some of the actions of my fellow staff members at this point, if I may. It seemed fairly obvious to me that Lionheart012 was just trolling at this point, especially when he made remarks about the topic being locked because the topic was criticized by a staff member (when he clearly chose not to lock it). Now, the icing on the cake was when a second account was created from the same IP address. This second account, wonkycyber, came into the thread and began a (rather self-righteous) tirade regarding moderators of forums. This, I think, was pretty clearly a troll post, made just to get a rise out of the moderators.
Specifically, the line, "Admins taking themselves way too damn seriously. The job of an admin is to keep the forums 'clean', if you will, not to filter everything you don't like," seemed custom-tailored to provoke a reaction in two ways. First, it is accusing the moderators of doing something they do not do; Two moderators had pretty much explicitly said they weren't going to lock the topic, even if they found it distasteful. Second, it is telling the people who are offering a service at no cost to you that it is wrong to run a messageboard in any other way than what you suggest.
In any case, merely the creation of a second account to be utilized like that is highly frowned upon and against board policy. There are two likely possibilities in a situation like this; The rest are unlikely to the point that they're not really worth considering: Lionheart012 and wonkycyber are the same person; and Lionheart012 and wonkycyber are different people, but in close physical proximity to each other and working in concert.
It has been suggested that it was inappropriate to publically list his IP address because of a risk of "hacking". If what he claimed is true, then his own computer would likely not be at risk nor any computer on his network; I'd assume most people who use NAT have some sort of security implemented above and beyond that of what the service naturally provides. I could say more if I put my mind to it, but if you're going to take his side on the subject to begin with, then that should be a suitable explanation.
It was also suggested that specific comments made by the staff were immature or against the rules ("If I were to say something like that I would be warned and possibly lose my membership."). I don't believe this to be true. Criticizing a topic is not flaming. Disagreeing with someone is not flaming. Pointing out that a person is likely using multiple accounts to rally public support for himself is not flaming. Getting a bit indignant when someone lies to your face ("Oh here is their IP adresses. WTF was that about? I have no relations with wonkycyber so it must be a coincidence.") is not a failure to be civil. I also can't find anything wrong with Tadrith's statement regarding NAT, or any reason why a non-staff member would be disciplined for a like remark; The assessment was accurate.
Just because someone posts a dissenting view does not mean they are attacking someone else. Just because someone is staff does not mean all their posts have to be formal and lack any coloquialisms or dissenting opinions. Staff should be impartial when it comes to punitive matters. If you feel they are not, go through the appropriate channels (We have multiple administrators for a reason). Do not attempt to reopen locked topics or create multiple accounts (or get a friend to come on and post from a script for you). It seems fairly simple to me.