Stack Overflow has successfully borrowed at least one XBox feature (Achievements). I'd like to see another feature borrowed as well.

Let's say I'm playing Halo online and another player is being a bigot. I have the option to add him to a list of ignored users. After doing that, all the racist things he says will never be heard through my headphones anymore.

Now, on Stack Overflow, I'd like the ability to add a user to a list of ignored users. This would hide all of that user's comments, and maybe his questions and answers as well (not sure if hiding questions/answers is necessary).

This serves multiple purposes:

  1. It would make it easy for users to avoid other users' flamebait.
  2. It would give users a more appropriate response to flamebait.
  3. The ability to start flame wars would be reduced, since fewer users would see those comments.
  4. Users would now have an incentive to be more diplomatic, as there is now a negative consequence to the behavior (the silent treatment).
  5. Administrators could review which users are the most often ignored, which would be a strong indication that someone should be put in the penalty box or even locked out of their account.
  6. Administrators wouldn't have to spend as much time dealing with complaints about abusive users, since users would have a better way to respond.

annakata makes a good point in a comment to an answer, that I thought should get more visibility:

I had a problem, reported it and got the response "not bad enough to do anything about, sorry". Which is kind of true, because the only options available to the mods are the nuclear one (penalty box) and the zero-effect one (do nothing). We need a middle ground option where abuse can be handled for you without also being handled for everyone.

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    Sorry Kip, I'm with ya, but let's keep this feature suggestion in the abstract – Kyle Cronin Jul 7 '09 at 20:14
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    Fighting with "Power Users" and moderators. Gutsy. – Jeffrey Jul 7 '09 at 20:14
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    This would be my #1 feature request by a long mile – bananakata Jul 7 '09 at 20:31
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    @Kyle, nice edit... @Kip, pretty funny alias! – Mark Harrison Jul 8 '09 at 7:35
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    "who constantly have to intervene to resolve petty conflicts" - I'll reserve judgement on that; personally, I find the calls to blacklist users far more distracting.... – Marc Gravell Jul 15 '09 at 22:16
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    I agree with Marc. All the talk about ignoring users or attempting to ostracize users via these posts is getting really tiresome. If you have complaints, voice them to the proper authorities and let those in charge make the decision if something needs to be done about it. – TheTXI Jul 15 '09 at 22:24
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    @TXI: to be fair, though, he was talking about lightening the mods' load. If the mods don't think they need their workload is that great, then it might not apply. But well said, otherwise. I have (facetiously) proposed that SO be run like a MUD, we earn weapons and spells to win edit duals and temporary "wards" against our "foes".... 'cause it almost sounds like life or death the way some people sound. – Axeman Jul 17 '09 at 14:35
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    +1. Useful for other reasons than avoiding abusive users too. – MarkJ Sep 16 '09 at 21:07
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    +1. I would very much like to see this implemented. – TrueWill Oct 11 '09 at 0:45
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    I request this feature. If I ever felt bad about ignoring someone, I could click 'unignore'. Why should users with high reputations be able to abuse me and go unpunished? I know if I go toe-to-toe with these users, I'll likely get banned, so I'd rather ignore them like any sensible person would. Instead, I have to let them ream me, and whoever the sadistic programmers behind this site are, they must like it. I absolutely hate it when sites don't let you ignore users. Even if they have something to contribute, I'd sooner see them banned for their abusive language. – 千里ちゃん Jul 26 '11 at 3:47
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    Also, from a psychological perspective, control = happiness. – 千里ちゃん Jul 26 '11 at 3:48
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    This is the most extreme example of closed-mindedness that I can possibly imagine. It also pushes SO in completely the wrong direction, to a site focused on users and social interaction, rather than one based on questions and answers. I'm very much opposed, and not in the way that "I would never use this", but in the way that "I think this is actively harmful for the site". If there is a problem, we want you to point it out to the moderators. If it's not worth pointing out, then you're obviously being over-sensitive and need to grow up a bit. Don't improve the site only for yourself. – Cody Gray Jul 27 '11 at 5:00
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    Take a sample from any real life society, and you're going to find personality disorders. How are people supposed to deal with those? This site is crawling with losers who stalk and harass people, and there's no way to deal with it because there was little thought put into the administration pipeline. If you report someone for annoying you, that person can get together with his 'social network' and harass you by closing all of your questions. You want to talk about closed mindedness, how about racists? I guess people should just change their skin tone? Cody's solution: blame the victim. – 千里ちゃん Oct 12 '11 at 16:08
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    Much needed feature.. :( – Andrew Thompson Dec 15 '13 at 15:01
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    +1 - someone can attract my attention just by using my name. Some people aren't worth listening to. It would be great just to ignore them. – Francis Davey Nov 8 '14 at 14:31

31 Answers 31


In my opinion you should never hide any questions/answers or comments from other people.

But what could be interesting is a specific highlighting for the question/answer/comment.

This has the advantage that you could still see everything but if a comment of your "ignore" list is set you know to ignore it because otherwise you will ending in a discussion.

On the other hand, you can see it also fast and for some particular reason you never want to answer that user, you see it fast but you still see it and you still can answer them if you find the question good enough to answer.

I do agree that it's the content of the question matter in stead of the user but we are all human and almost everybody have some person they really don't like.

If this update ever comes, I also should implement a tool where consistent downvoting of ignore list is checked.
It's not because you want to ignore a specific person, that the person should be punished by you.

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