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You know what would probably settle at least 90% of the fights that erupt here?

A function for users to simply ignore another specific user's comments--to "hide-rate" them for themselves, but not for anyone else.

There are people here who I can't say don't contribute to the site, or to progressive politics, or to the Democratic Party as a whole, but damned if they don't grate on my nerves.

And we've all run into them.  People whose comments may be valid, even necessary to a particular discussion, but who just rub us the wrong way.

I play a number of MMOs, and one of their saving graces is the "/ignore " function.  This lets you put someone in "time-out", temporarily or permanently.

Let's be honest.  Most of the fights that erupt here are just personality clashes, nothing more.  There's nothing deeper than "He's a jerk!" or "I don't like her!", no matter how much our egos cling to the idea that so-and-so said such-and-such and it was SOOOOO WRONG!!! and had to corrected.

I'm certain I'd be on some peoples' ignore lists, and I've got at least half a dozen candidates who would land on my own on the first day an ignore function were to be implemented.

An ignore function would restore a semblance of civility to the site and it would reduce the ability of some folks to bully others into submission.

And, I know, the counter-argument is that we should all control ourselves.  Please.  Look at this place.  Seriously, look at it.  When even front-pagers have been banned because they got embroiled in a personality tangle, there's a problem.  When Kos himself declares, like the Prince at the end of Romeo and Juliet, that "All are punished!", there's a problem.

It'd give us the happy medium of a personal hide-rate--so we as individuals no longer see an annoyance's comments--without getting into public fights over what is and is not hide-rateable.

Anyway.  Food for thought.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just don't respond. (12+ / 0-)

    Ignoring accomplished, with extra special will power sauce.

  •  Okay, let's picture a scenario - (6+ / 0-)

    You've written a diary. A comment by someone on your ignore list sparks a pertinent thread. A bunch of users jump in to comment, and the information is flying. Does your page also ignore all the comments to the parent comment, or do they show up unattached to the parent?

    Or, do you want a mechanism on the page that shows that the parent comment is by someone on your ignored list and gives you the option to see the parent? Does that take the person off your ignore list entirely, or just show that comment?

    I can think of a number of other cases where an ignore function would play happy havoc with thread integrity, but I suppose the biggest argument is that it would take one heck of a programming effort to make the diaries that you see substantially different from those everybody else sees.

    A hidden comment is a much simpler programming action - the same comments are either hidden or not depending on TU status and preference settings, and it hides the whole thread beneath it at the same time.  That means there are only two versions of any given diary that have to be supported by coding. An ignore function would mean that there would have to be a huge number of variations which would have to be accounted for, not only within a diary, but in the Comments pages.

    One variation which might not be such an incredible hassle for coding would be the ability to allow you not to see diaries by people you are ignoring, but I frankly think that taking it to the comment level would be a mess and a half.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:46:04 AM PDT

    •  Exactly. Classic case of "easier said than done" (6+ / 0-)

      Similar issues as the whole deleting/editing comments thing presents.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:59:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps it could just post a blank box in place (5+ / 0-)

      of the ignored comment(er) and otherwise treat it as a normal comment in a thread.  There could even be a reveal button that would allow you to see the comment if you wanted to, so that you could understand the thread that followed.

      This comment was made by a user on your Ignore list.
      To reveal contents of this comment, click here.
      If a person found themselves clicking to reveal the contents a lot of the time, they might re-think the value of the ignored user.  I don't think that I'd be likely to use the feature, but who knows.  There are occasionally some folks who do manage to get on my last nerve.

      Since this would be tricky to implement, maybe the function could be available to subscribers only.

    •  No, it wouldn't take much programming effort at... (0+ / 0-)

      ...all.  Most other internet fora have such a function.  It's keyed to the user who's putting on the ignore--it's not terribly complicated, or else it wouldn't be such a staple on other internet message boards.

      Clearly, DKos already has this capability--it's essentially what a hide-rate is, only that does it for EVERYBODY.

      •  This isn't just any other site. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti, serendipityisabitch

        It's got a custom backend with other factors involved.

        I'll bet those other fora you mention also have means to edit and/or delete comments. This site does not and will not ever have that functionality, according to Markos. And, like I said in another comment, Markos is trying to simplify the site, not make it more complex.

        The integrity of discussion threads has to be considered. When you start giving people a mechanism for hiding commentary on an individual basis, it becomes unique to the user making use of that mechanism, and as an unintended consequence, difficult for others to determine why exactly a particular response might be going unanswered. It will hinder quality discourse here, not help it, imo.

        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:26:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, it won't "hinder quality discourse". (0+ / 0-)

          Without the ability to ignore people, things quickly devolve into "who said what about whom".  Just look around for five minutes--you know it's true.

          •  Ok, so do you want to ignore (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            those types of threads, or the actual users participating in them?

            If you turn off the users themselves, do you do it globally, so it affects any diary in the future you happen to visit where they are also participating, or do you turn them off on a thread-by-thread basis? Do you think only a few select people make 100% or their contribution to this site in the form of thread-devolving pettiness, or do a lot of people, who otherwise make productive contributions to the site, find themselved embroiled in these tit-for-tats from time to time? Or just a couple who end up in these spats more often than not?

            I know you want to selectively plug your ears, but there's too many questions that come to my mind about its implementation. With that many questions, the likelihood of something not going according to plan seems much greater to me.

            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Thu May 23, 2013 at 03:05:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This has been requested many times (9+ / 0-)

    But is unlikely to be implemented. Markos wants less buttons not more.

    What do you mean "look at this place?" Seriously, I don't get how people can be so affected by others here as to feel an 'ignore' button is necessary.

    Just close the diary, or collapse the sub-thread of a particular user in the comments by holding the control key while clicking on the the arrow next to the comment. (Might be shift key, one of the two).

    Then again, the people I find the most annoying here are the ones I actually enjoy engaging with the most, sometimes. It's all how you look at it, I guess.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:52:14 AM PDT

  •  I've been on a sports board for about 10 years. (8+ / 0-)

    Sadly, the thing has evolved into one long food fight.

    But it's still a great source of information and I do have friends there.

    The mods added an ignore user button. I very rarely use it. But an exception are the right wing nut jobs who continually use every opportunity to contort a completely unrelated issue into a slam on liberals, Democrats or Obama.

    It's tedious and annoying as hell. So they are on ignore.

    I lament the need for such a thing, But it does come in handy.

    •  This site hasn't devolved (3+ / 0-)

      into that kind of fuckfest...yet.

      Those wingnut barbarians really do fuck up everything they come in contact with, for sure.

      Annoying Democrats I can handle without an ignore button, personally. ;)

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? It hasn't? (0+ / 0-)

        Clearly, you haven't been here when personalities clash, stupidly I might add, and people get banned not because they said anything "trollish", but because everyone got their undies in a bunch over some dopey fight.

        And let's be honest.  TUs just as often fling HRs at things that clearly don't deserve them only because they disagree.  Be honest with yourself--you have to know this happens.  An ignore button is a happy medium--it says, "I don't want to see this person's comments anymore" without saying "NO ONE should see this person's comments anymore."

        •  Sure I've been here for some of it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti, serendipityisabitch

          Not the more epic shit like THE original pie fight, or the Obama/Hillary primary wars, but I've seen enough pie fights and Markos "purges" to know what they're about.

          People get banned in the manner you describe because they don't know when to quit and walk away. Markos steps in, usually after firing a warning shot, figuratively, and starts banning people. If it comes without warning, I STILL have a hard time believing those who were banned had absolutely no clue why.  Yet those people can, in all but the most extreme cases, request reinstatement.

          And yes, people throw abusive HRs. And REALLY bugs the shit out of me when they do. If they make a habit out of it, they'll get their ratings privileges taken away for awhile. It's hardly the problem it once was, imo, because the consequences have been made a lot clearer as of late.

          An ignore button will be abused just like an HR, in a sense. It will allow people to post idiotic commentary with a greater degree of impunity than they would without an "ignore" button. They won't be able to respond to comments they cannot "see." How convenient.

          A plug your ears and say, "la la la I can't hear you" type of thing.

          So there's other potential consequences that need to be considered other than your particular perception of how the site interacts.

          Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
          ~ Jerry Garcia

          by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:16:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's hard to call that "abuse". (0+ / 0-)

            Really, in any sense of the word.

            •  All right, I'll be more specific then (0+ / 0-)

              Overused for purposes of creating a personal echo chamber that will potentially degrade the integrity of discussion threads.

              If specific people are engaging in harassing behavior like stalking or whatever, there are means in place already to have that kind of activity addressed on a case-by-case basis through the help desk.

              But I recognize this is a problem of significance for you personally.

              Are there a lot of people on your "ignore" list? Or just one or two bothersome individuals? Are these people beyond redemption in your view? Have they EVER contributed anything worthwhile to discussions here? Could they in the future? Are their comments indicative of a behavior or an opinion you don't like? Are there past grudges involved?

              These are all questions that have run through my mind when this topic has come up in the past, and find myself asking again now in light of your diary.

              Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
              ~ Jerry Garcia

              by DeadHead on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:45:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  I know exactly what you mean. (5+ / 0-)

    But, think of it as an exercise in self restraint, we can do it!

    As an aside I actually have been seeing a different perspective from some of the people I would put on ignore. Maybe today they will go back to being ignorable. You never know what you're going to get, although I read the comments first and then read who posted them and try to be egalitarian about it, but patterns are observable.

    •  That's why an ignore button is a bad idea (4+ / 0-)

      If there's a chance it could be different, you'd never know if the person was set to "ignore."

      I, too, have had a recent change-of-heart on a few people that I used to be annoyed more by in the past. So it IS possible to reconcile differences and actually gain new alliances out of adversity.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:33:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Clearly, we can't. (0+ / 0-)

      Or else some of the things that happen here wouldn't have happened.

      And shouldn't it be up to users to decide, "I never want to see this person's comments again"?  We're already saying "NO ONE should ever see this person's comments again", which, I daresay, is quite a bit more harsh.

  •  Personally? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm medicated for your protection.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:01:46 AM PDT

  •  I don't need an IGNORE button to ignore someone (6+ / 0-)

    Just do it!

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:44:18 AM PDT

  •  I understand the sentiment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    But it's something that's just kinda inherent in internet discussions. I suppose if you weren't getting rubbed the wrong way, there would be less incentive to put in your two cents as well.

  •  I'm fine without one... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    ...but I'm wondering is this is something that could be done with a browser add-on.  Something that would intercept the page as it's sent to you and simply not display comments from your "ignore" list.  But I'm not sure anyone would want to spend the time coding something with such a limited user base.

  •  PLUNK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, Eyesbright

    Thanks for the fond memories of my Usenet days.

  •  While we are asking for the moon (3+ / 0-)

    I'd like a feature where I could filter diaries by tag. It would work like my junk mail filters.

    I never EVER want to see a snark diary in the list. I can't stand seeing an interesting title, clicking on it and finding it's all a lie in the name of "humor". And never funny, either.

    But for those who don't think snark is junk mail, have at it. Just leave me out of the party.

    •  For that to work (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, Oh Mary Oh, pucklady

      people would have to actually use tags properly and consistently. Not everyone who writes snark uses the tag.

      Same potential problem with any subject that one would rather avoid.

      But many do use tags correctly and consistently, so I guess it would serve to reduce the number of diaries visible to a person choosing to ignore certain tags.

      Using the "Stream" functionality can achieve similar results, though in a much less straightforward manner, I admit.

      Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
      ~ Jerry Garcia

      by DeadHead on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I'd rather see, frankly, is a button (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright, The Marti, Oh Mary Oh

    that would allow you to skip to the next parentless/left wall comment, and pass the endless threads that are generated by lengthy arguments by a handful of users.

    There've been diaries I've opened where I wind up scrolling for days just trying to get past a personal pie fight or tangential argument (or even an on-point argument I'm tired of) trying to find the next new post.

    Also, by the time you get fifty screens down, you might find the second comment posted.  That's what I'm more interested in reaching.

    A button to expedite that would be lovely.

    "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

    by Yasuragi on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:27:30 AM PDT

  •  Let me get this straight... (3+ / 0-)

    You want a system set up so you can censored yourself from seeing things you don't want to???

  •  We need a button to ignore something?.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti

    ....or, is it we need a button to let someone know we think they're ignorant?

    I believe a sternly worded letter just might be in order here.

    by suspiciousmind on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:18:20 AM PDT

  •  One additional point - this is a late comment, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    I know, but I'll post anyway - There would have to be a way to let you track the people you were ignoring, the same way there's a way to track the people you're following. Like any other tracking list, it would end up being on your Profile page.

    I can just SEE the potential for increasing the flame wars if people started checking the ignore lists. Even better, watching the entire site go up in flames if the corresponding "Is being ignored by:" list went up below the "Ignoring:" list. If I were Admin, I think I'd run screaming at even contemplating the idea.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:10:30 PM PDT

  •  I'd use it. (0+ / 0-)

    And I do use it on other forums. I can manage fine without it, but if the place had one, I'd find it useful and convenient.

    "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

    by davewill on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:07:27 PM PDT

  •  the fights here happen because there really are (0+ / 0-)

    two very different philosophies here which really are in conflict with each other. They can be summed up as "more Democrats" and "better Democrats". Those two things are not the same. Just as "anti-Republicans" and "progressives" are not the same.

    The two sides will never get along. They are fundamentally incompatible.  But the argument itself is vitally necessary--on the one hand, it keeps the fight focused on practical reality, and on the other hand, it prevents the fight from losing its ideological soul.

    I do not want to stop the fight.   It is a crucially important fight to have.

    It would be nice if it were more civil. But simple human emotion (and a dose of simple human tribalism) makes that impossible. (shrug)

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