I'm aware of the related questions, but I feel that this remains an issue.
I occasionally encounter "bad" users on SO. They are the exception! But it would be nice to have a way to keep track of them, so I can avoid future arguments.
Looking at the user info visible next to the post, I can see:
- Accept rate
Taking these in order:
I'd like to use my brain cells to remember good handles, not bad ones.
A user with low rep may be a newbie, a doppelganger, a non-contributor, etc. Newbies are not evil, and I don't wish to penalize them (especially when they take the time to contribute). A user with higher rep may be a good citizen or a troll. As has been noted before, downvotes seldom affect your rep significantly and may trigger the reverse effect. Argumentative threads may be popular.
Badges are fun, but aren't a good indicator of personality.
Accept rate is a useful indicator, but may also be low for newbies.
Yes, I could drill down to the user's page and examine them more closely. But that takes time away from more useful activities.
One solution might be to come up with a metric of behavior (Alignment? ;) and display that, possibly color-coded. This could be based on the number of flagged posts, suspensions, ratio of positive-to-negative reputation earned, etc. It still wouldn't detect doppelgangers (they'd show up Neutral, like newbies) but would help.
Displaying "member for" time would also help - long-standing members with low reputations might be questionable. Factoring this into the metric might be a better solution.
EDIT: Another possibility would be to allow individual users to "tag" other users as offensive, but only allow the tagger to see the tag. This would be similar to blocking/hiding a user on other sites. On SO hiding might be confusing; perhaps they could be grayed out. This might be the fairest option; if people find me boorish (which is subjective), they could ignore me without affecting anyone else.
...and it appears that this has already been thought of.