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First, this post is about an aesthetic choice that I think affects the quality of the forums, not about moderation. But if it's too close to being about moderation, then please feel free to close or delete the thread.
When I look at old threads, there is a high density of red "user banned" icons, especially since the recent bans of a few formerly very active members. I worry that this appearance gives newcomers a false impression that the forums are inhospitable or dramatic. Also, many of those banned members' old posts were positive contributions, but marking those posts with that icon suggests that they are to be ignored. Would it be feasible to restore banned members' avatars on thread pages? Is there a drawback to this that I'm not thinking of?