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Add the ability to ignore users

I'd really like the ability to ignore comments by particular users on a per-user basis or simply choose not to see comments at all as a preference or interface mechanism (see related). Particularly on meta, some comment threads are distracting to the actual question/answer dialog. It would be nice to filter out some of the more distracting commenters and/or hide the comment display entirely to make it easier to read the questions/answers.

Waits for inevitable annoying comment threads to start...

Update:

Alternative: what if, instead of simply removing the comments, it worked more like SO where I only see a certain number of comments unless I expand them all. In this case it would hide the comments from people I'm not interested in or beyond a certain number that I've chosen but give me the ability to expand the comments as desired. This would keep the context available if I'm interested in following a discussion but keeps the comments to a manageable level. This behavior could be specified by user preference but would default to showing all comments.

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I'm only talking about comments by users, not filtering users. I agree with Mehrdad that questions/answers should not be filtered by user but I would like the ability to ignore comments. –  tvanfosson Oct 21 '09 at 16:14
    
The implementation costs would be lower if SOcorp™ simply sent a team of ninjas after censored. –  Craig Stuntz Oct 21 '09 at 16:32
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Ninjas can't catch me: I'm on fire. –  XMLbog Oct 21 '09 at 16:40
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Then send pirates. Oohh! The annoying comments have already begun!!! –  user27414 Oct 21 '09 at 16:48
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Which will all be killed by the robots to follow. –  belgariontheking Oct 21 '09 at 18:08
    
Just flag the post with a request to know your favorite mod's favorite flavor of ice cream. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:18
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Wouldn't hiding only certain user comments just make comments harder to read as many of them as replies to previous comments? How much complexity/detail/precision are you requesting? –  Troggy Oct 21 '09 at 19:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'd be in favour of a "Hide Comments" checkbox by each section of comments (or even at the top of the page directly below the question). Sometimes there's so much banter on a page it's hard to see that there's actually some answers in there too.

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PS. Pundit whores. :p –  Ether Oct 21 '09 at 19:48

Just flag them (the parent post, I mean) for moderator attention with a brief 1 sentence explanation.

We have a low tolerance policy towards misbehavior in comments, as documented here.

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But only if the person is someone who is on your list of 'bad people', right? This kind of moderation you refer to surely does not apply equally to all users. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 17:59
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it applies equally to the content, not the user. Don't create content that creates flags. It's pretty simple, really. –  Jeff Atwood Oct 21 '09 at 18:03
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@Rich: Do you always play defence? Light'n up a bit, Jeff is just explaining the policy they follow. It is ok to question things, but within reason. –  Troggy Oct 21 '09 at 18:05
    
@Jeff: I am not seeing an equal distribution of moderation. I see you deleted my (rather valid) objections to this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/26755 –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:05
    
@Jeff: But when I flagged this as obvious trolling based on this encounter you did nothing: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14308/… –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:06
    
@Jeff: Please explain the difference in rules here. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:06
    
@Troggy: This is called dissent. It is an important part of any democratic process. You asking for this to be silenced is the problem, not the dissent itself. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:07
    
@Jeff: In general, I also have to disagree with your idea that if it causes flags it is wrong. You know as well as I do that I have certain users who flag just about anything I do (in fact that is their only 'contribution'). You and the mods should be using your own judgment and in dealing with these flags. Not every flag requires action after all, that is the idea of moderation. And that is where I call out the issue of uneven moderation. You certainly don't take action to every flag some people make, but others you do. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:11
    
Bah. I keep flagging comments, and they keep failing to stop existing. And here it comes out that if i'd been flagging the post they're attached to, i would have been rewarded with a massive scorched-earth comment deletion... Sometimes, I suspect there are features in SO that exist only to act as lightning rods for bored users. –  Shogging through the snow Oct 21 '09 at 18:19
    
@Shog9: Depends if you are on the 'good list'. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:26
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I rest my case. –  tvanfosson Oct 21 '09 at 18:43
    
@tv: You have a problem with on-topic comments? –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 18:50
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No. I have a problem with a list of comments that outstrips the answer by 5x. That's why I want the ability to filter out people who leave lots of comments and/or the ability to hide all comments. –  tvanfosson Oct 21 '09 at 19:01
    
@Rich B: If i understand him correctly, tv was annoyed by long comment threads distracting from the actual answers. In this case, the answer is only two sentences long, while the comments fill the page. Granted, the comments are much more interesting than the answer, but that just makes the problem worse: I could easily ignore the answer entirely when visiting a question such as this for the first time. Seems like there was some talk originally of a user-defined threshold for comment display... –  Shogging through the snow Oct 21 '09 at 19:03
    
@Shog9: That would be fine, but that is not what this suggestion is about. Banning discussion is not ok. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 19:06

I suggest you just use this:

Ignore Users Script

That is bad enough. Ignoring users should not be condoned by the site because it increases the noise on the site instead of decreasing it which is the goal.

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I don't use FF as my main browser. –  tvanfosson Oct 21 '09 at 19:33
    
@tv: Then what can I say? Why make a change the penalizes the whole site just for you? –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 19:34
    
How does it penalize the whole site? Only people who choose to use the feature need do so. See my update on a way to overcome the issues with respect to commenting on a thread absent the context of ignored users. –  tvanfosson Oct 21 '09 at 19:42
    
Now this is a dupe. Much better, thanks. –  GEOCHET Oct 21 '09 at 19:52

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