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The term “banhammer” refers to the power of moderators and system administrators to effectively ban users from a digital space. It began in Internet chat rooms and progressed to use in online gaming platforms.
Experts commonly attribute the first use of the term “banhammer” to MSN chat rooms in the mid-1990s where a hammer icon was used for administrative banning privileges. Over time, various icons and memes have developed around the use of the term “banhammer.” It has also become useful in online gaming. For instance, a “code of conduct” on Battle.Net describes actions that may lead to banning, including real-life threats and objectionable speech on forums.