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This feature request is about a setting to switch off seeing the positive reputation changes and to freeze or switch off the shown reputation points / graphs / badges. The setting should be available on the main Stack Exchange profile, with checkboxes for gamification items on every single Stack account of that user (so that you do not need to enter every Stack account step-wise, but have a table with one gamification item per column, with the option to flag the whole column or even the whole table).

The reason is that Stack Exchange has a strong gamification effect which is normally good, but might distract sometimes (e.g. important tasks, at work, on holiday, whatever), and switching off would mean that you can still use the full power of Stack Exchange. Negative changes should be seen so that you are still warned if you need to react.

Logging out is not an option of course.

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  • 5
    adblock works wonders for these kinds of things – Kevin B Feb 26 at 20:14
  • @user400654 You mean you could even suppress the green rep changes with adblock? – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:16
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    I would just hide the whole trophy icon if my goal was to hide gamification related notifications. I do this for the review icon – Kevin B Feb 26 at 20:16
  • @user400654 You mean with adblock? And then, could I also hide the rep graph and the overall points? – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:17
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    You can hide anything that is contained within a DOM element that is somewhat unique. I would assume you can hide both of those things with adblock, but i haven't tried – Kevin B Feb 26 at 20:18
  • @user400654 That is a great hint then. Still it could be just a feature on SE as well. Especially the downvotes should be seen so that the user knows that something is going on. – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:19
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    See Hide all pointless user data (avatar, badges, and reputation), though that’s not quite what you need; the point is that this can definitely be done with userscripts, custom styles, or adblock. I remember someone having shown a screenshot of the site with all “numbers” removed; can’t find it right now. Related: Allow me to opt-out of having my badge participation displayed anywhere. – Sebastian Simon Feb 26 at 20:24
  • @SebastianSimon I still see a valid feature request here, as soon as I have to put some work into customizing this. Or a finished customization of this feature could be shared here as a workaround. – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:29
  • I can confirm that using AdBlock on Firefox works, I can even choose only the positive reputation changes to be blocked when right-clicking exactly the green change. – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:52
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    Seems as if AdBlock blocking chosen items on StackOverflow, SuperUser, StackExchange, ServerFault and perhaps very few other sites that I forgot are enough to block all other sites as well (e.g. Unix&Linux aso., meaning, if you do the blocking on 5 core sites, this might apply to all other sites) – questionto42 Feb 26 at 21:04
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    Oh dear… I just remembered and found that screenshot I referenced in my previous comment: It was within the promotional links in comments fiasco two weeks ago. The screenshot on this blog shows a view of Stack Exchange sites with all reputation numbers, badges, etc. removed. This was also done with an adblocker. – Sebastian Simon Feb 27 at 16:13
  • Why is logging out not an option? – P.Mort. - forgot Clay Shirky_q Mar 3 at 9:43
  • @P.Mort.-forgotClayShirky_q It is a log of your work, and voting / commenting / reacting to comments and answers keeps this network running. – questionto42 Mar 4 at 17:39
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I've heard this a lot, and... I'm sympathetic, but I also believe it is fundamentally impossible.

Oh, sure, you can turn off the gee-gaws, the reputation scores and voting buttons, the badges and notifications.

But you can't actually remove the most powerful rewards. The stuff that motivates us the most, especially long-term, isn't the flare, the glam and glitz... It's basic social stuff, Maslow's hierarchy stuff, like the esteem of our peers, a sense of belonging, and the ability to do the things that make us happy without asking permission.

At the end of the day, the gee-gaws are just there to guide us toward what is really important. Removing them won't change that, it'll just leave folks a bit more lost.

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Or you can simply ignore the gamification prompts and just get on with asking and answering questions. After people gain a certain amount, they often ignore this stuff.

It’s just internet points after all.

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  • Right, though the distraction by gamification is in itself something that is only there if you cannot control this. That is why this answer is only partly helpful ;). On the other hand, there is no easier workaround. – questionto42 Feb 26 at 20:47
0

Intro

Using an ad-blocker is not future-proof for this or any site in the sense that every site needs to have some income from advertisements, and these are blocked as well, not just the gamification. It is probably the community opinion to better accept some advertisements "for the good sake". That being said, the question here is just about the mere chance to avoid the point system for a while, for whatever reasons. Perhaps you also just want to get some screenshots for a presentation where you do not want any account information on it :), and you do not want to clean that information again and again.

Personally, I have switched back to the normal mode after some weeks, since the other answer is right - after a while you realise this. Since you start finding out indirectly what is happening, you see it by the votes of your Q/As. I still like the chance to be free to use such a tool when I need it. I have even stopped the ad-blocker on all sites, since I see the long-term negative external effects of this.

Thus, the ad-blocker to hide gamification is not recommended because of the community business model which also relies on advertisements in an honest way - everyone will profit in the end, if this is not stopped. You can do this, though, if you desperately search for a break of gamification due to whatever professional or private reason.


Answer

All credits of this answer go to the helpful comments!

The AdBlock add-on that is available in the standard browsers is a very good workaround. Making your right AdBlock settings on all Stack Exchange accounts takes perhaps 20 min if you know what needs to be done. It is that fast because you often apply multiple changes in one go (also sometimes to other Stack Exchange accounts by the same time), and you save time by increasing the area that you want to block with a slide (this is mainly needed for the graph). Do not forget to refresh any site that is already open before you go on with blocking any items.

In the free version, you need to copy and paste the settings on each computer that you use, even if the browsers are connected with your account. You should also keep a backup if something goes wrong.

After a while, that would look for example like:

meta.stackexchange.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
stackoverflow.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
stackoverflow.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
askubuntu.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
askubuntu.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
superuser.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
superuser.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
stackexchange.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
serverfault.com##SPAN[class="indicator-badge js-unread-count _positive"]
stackoverflow.com##SPAN[class="s-badge s-badge__bounty s-badge__bounty s-badge__sm lh-xs mr2"]
stackoverflow.com##DIV[class="profile-cards--graph js-reputation-graph"]
stackoverflow.com##B
meta.stackexchange.com##SPAN[class="grid--cell "]
meta.stackexchange.com##B
meta.stackexchange.com##DIV[class="profile-cards--graph js-reputation-graph"]
meta.stackexchange.com##SPAN[class="s-badge s-badge__bounty s-badge__bounty s-badge__sm lh-xs mr2"]
superuser.com##DIV[class="profile-cards--graph js-reputation-graph"]
superuser.com##SPAN[class="grid--cell "]
superuser.com##B
stackexchange.com##SPAN[class="account-number"]
stackexchange.com##DIV[class="account-badges"]
stackoverflow.com##SPAN[class="grid--cell "]
stackoverflow.com##SPAN[class="grid grid__center px6 bg-green-400 fc-white fs-body1 bar-sm profile-cards--rep-increase css-tooltip"]
serverfault.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
dba.stackexchange.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
security.stackexchange.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
crypto.stackexchange.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]
superuser.com##SPAN[class="s-badge s-badge__bounty s-badge__bounty s-badge__sm lh-xs mr2"]
meta.stackexchange.com##DIV[class="-rep js-header-rep"]

Which is to be pasted here:

enter image description here

Then, the upper right bar looks like

enter image description here

And the Stack Exchange overview of all accounts would not show any points:

enter image description here

Anyway, better than even AdBlock Premium would be a setting that can be changed inside the Stack Exchange profile settings, online, and in one go for all.


Outro

Again, I am not recommending this, and I also would not want to encourige this in the community. It is up to you to be kind to Stack Overflow or not :). At least I have switched off the ad-blocker entirely. Thank you for your understanding.

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