@Sarah_Hill well it does in fact work like that and it is not useless as you might think.
As I stated, a member could have a hundred warnings but that does not necessarily
result in a ban.
Some also think that a warning is the end of the world or a bad thing. It is not necessarily
a bad thing. It's just that some times that member may not realize the forum rules.
An example is a recent new member that kept posting nothing but an emoticon. After
denying many of those posts, a warning was issued to stop posting an emoticon because
his posts are denied. He stopped. He obviously didnt know he couldn't do that but
that doesn't mean admin would ban him from the forum if he received 5 or more warnings
So although you may think it is useless, it really isn't. It has nothing to do with
authority of the moderators either. Mostly it is a messaging system for moderators
and admin to notify the member of whatever they are needing notified about in regards
to the forum rules.
Take another example of the member that is posting bad language, calling members
names, going against forum rules. When admin sees that member has received
numerous warnings, admin can see what the warnings were for and admin is more
prone to ban that member.
It's all about what the owners need to know and it is their option what they choose
to do, if anything.