I recently noticed that Morteza Azad's account is temporarily suspended for what appears to be a period of 10 years unless I'm reading that date wrong.

The linked stackoverflow guidelines indicate that a temporary suspension lasts up to a full year at most so I assumed this was some sort of error, but it's been that way for three days now. I don't know what led to the suspension but I generally enjoyed Morteza's contributions, and I certainly hope he isn't precluded from contributing to and benefiting from MO until 2028.

(Apologies if this is a faux pas, but it seems that suspension is meant to be a publicly visible punishment so I felt this an appropriate question.)

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    $\begingroup$ I am also initially surprised to see this. That said, there were some users in the past who I knew had incurred long-term bans for various reasons known to the mods, and one of them had been known to use fake identities... $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:10
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    $\begingroup$ Possibly relevant: a look for Morteza Azad at AUT only seems to turn up the author of arxiv.org/search/math?searchtype=author&query=Azad%2C+M+B which evinces a rather different set of interests/activity than the user here of the same name $\endgroup$
    – Yemon Choi
    Sep 7, 2018 at 3:13
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    $\begingroup$ I will point out that the suspension is network-wide, so it's possible that it has nothing to do with the users activity on MO. Another data point which is publicly visible is the suspension was originally shorter. (You can see that the user posted on this site during August and Internet Archive snapshot from August 19 shows a suspension ending on September 13 this year.) $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 5:52
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    $\begingroup$ Possibly related post on Meta Stack Exchange: A technical failure of SE software: Unjustifiable reversal of the votes between highly active users. The post is now deleted, so you can see it if you have 10k+ reputation on that site and at the moment it is still visible in Google Cache. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ There are longer suspensions (such as this one). $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    Sep 26, 2018 at 9:59
  • $\begingroup$ @YemonChoi but there can be more than one Morteza Azad in the world, not a particularly rare name. $\endgroup$
    – user141498
    Jun 10, 2019 at 19:37

1 Answer 1


Naturally, we do not discuss details of individual users. This is indeed an unusual suspension. Also note that this is a network-wide suspension, so this is not necessarily related to this user's behavior on MathOverflow.

  • $\begingroup$ If the suspension is indeed complety unrelated to MO and possibly also dealt out by SE staff rather than MO moderators, the MO owners should maybe request SE to lift it on MO if the MO community feels like this. Just to remember, MO is not a 08-15 site of the network but has special rights by a legal agreement. SE staff should not have the right to quasi perma ban valuable productive users on this site against the will of this community! $\endgroup$
    – Dilaton
    Sep 7, 2018 at 14:45
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    $\begingroup$ Even assuming that the system can be persuaded to unban a user on just MathOverflow, that may be a bad precedent. I don't think MathOverflow users can judge properly if a productive user should be allowed to continue without knowing why there was a ban, and even if MathOverflow moderators had enough information, I do not see them overriding a system ban or convincing the community to request an override without compromising something that may later relate to privacy concerns of you and me. Gerhard "It's An Unfortunate Corner Case" Paseman, 2018.09.07. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 16:22
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    $\begingroup$ The MO mods are aware of the details of this case. We support the SE community team's decision. $\endgroup$ Sep 7, 2018 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for the response -- I've accepted it as I don't expect any further information to come forward, but I am surprised that a 10 year public shaming has been unanimously deemed the appropriate punitive measure. It's tantamount to a permanent ban except everyone can see it, in essence 10 years with a dunce cap on; I understand that this is entirely up to the discretion of mods and not community members like me, but I must wonder if it's really a commensurate punishment. $\endgroup$
    – Alec Rhea
    Sep 7, 2018 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ @AlecRhea: 'Morteza Azad' is hardly the real name of that user -- otherwise you'd certainly be right (though if you have been long enough on this site, it's not difficult to guess who it is). $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Sep 7, 2018 at 21:24
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    $\begingroup$ @StefanKohl: Interestingly enough, the person I assume we are both thinking of repeatedly posted links to questions of “Morteza Azad” from his (public; I declined repeated friend requests from him) Facebook account. So he wasn’t even trying to hide his identity. I am kind of surprised his fake account lasted as long as it did... $\endgroup$ Sep 8, 2018 at 3:30

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