Disable the ignore function

Discussion in 'Communications' started by Ender Sai, Jun 2, 2014.

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  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Tom actually asked this question in a JC thread, but I was thinking it too.

    The ignore function, whilst useful on social media, is actually a huge detriment to the point of having communities that foster discussion.

    As tom put it; "It's one thing for someone to ramble on and on from a ludicrous perspective while not responding to legitimate criticisms of their ideas; but when they can remain blissfully ignorant that those criticisms are even being made it's doubly frustrating"

    I for one agree, and though there are people whose posts annoy me or whose attempts at mangling the language actual cause a mild stroke or four when I try to decipher it, I don't put them on ignore. Why?

    For over a decade, the boards did not have need of an ignore function. You were entitled not to respond to a person you found overbearing, but the TOS still enforced good behavior on both parties. Even if you didn't respond, you had an awareness of what people posted. Discussion was not stilted, infuriatingly so, as people miss salient ignored posts.

    That we survived so long, with more people and more traffic, speaks volumes against why this function could be disabled without any major downstream impacts to the community.

    Can we examine this feature or at least allow forums to vote on keep/not keep?
    Last edited by Ender Sai, Jun 2, 2014
  2. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I like having it and it's nice it's left to individual user's preference.
    Thuro and V-2 like this.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    What did you do before it was an option, circa last year?
  4. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I wanted one. Though I wasn't here most of '13. I took a break because of stress. It's simply a choice to use or not just like responding or not is.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    OK but do you agree it can have significant downstream impacts on the overall discourse?
  6. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    At times but the real problem is that not many listen to have discourse to begin with not the option to ignore a user,
  7. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I think we've had some discussions on this in MS that didn't quite end up going anywhere in particular (Certainly it's only on because it's the default. [IMG]), so I'll be following this thread closely.
  8. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    the ignore function is silly
  9. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    As Mr.Ten said, the only legit uses I can think of would be bannable anyway.
    DarthTunick likes this.
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    The thing is, the ignore function creates a number of what I would call inconsistencies in the application of the TOS and it in my view at least, severely impacts on discussion.

    Firstly, the TOS is designed to prevent any scenario in which a user's posts could be genuinely problematic for another user. User X may argue they hate User Y's opinions, but in the old system that manifested itself in either flame wars or more likely, skipping over their posts or deciding not to respond. Yet, we coped for years without it.

    And, crucially, they signed up to the site agreeing to the site's T&Cs. If the Ts and Cs don't contemplate a scenario where a user can block another user's content...well, you knew the risks coming in, buddy.

    (in fact, aren't the T&Cs mum about it anyway)?

    Can I be accused of baiting a user if that user has me on ignore, for example? Arguably no, because the reason you enforce a ban on baiting as a practice is because the baiting is designed to induce anti-TOS behavior. Except, if the person being baited can't see it - well, if a tree falls over in a forest and kills a mime, does anyone care (as Gary Larson once asked)?

    Similarly, if a person blocks me and I create a sock to respond to a post they made (assuming the sock is unblocked), am I violating the TOS? Harassing a user? If the user didn't know it was my sock, presumably not, right?

    We wouldn't be asked if it wasn't impacting on a community discussion, and didn't generally create a massive disruption to the flow of discourse. Given the board's history-to-date of thriving without one, and that really if you have to ignore people to partake in a discussion may it says a lot about you rather than them... why have it?
  11. Zapdos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2013
    star 5
    i agree, even though i have a couple of users on ignore now. while it's sort of nice to ignore someone completely i can just as easily choose not to spend time on them even though their posts are there. i've noticed myself that it can be troublesome, especially when i've misunderstood who someone was actually arguing with since the function hides quotes as well.
    Last edited by Zapdos, Jun 2, 2014
  12. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    That's the thing; there's only really downsides from ignoring someone. The net positives such as not having to be troubled by them - well, isn't any community full of people you will and won't like? - arent' enough to justify the disruption to the community that ignore creates.
    Valairy Scot likes this.
  13. Darth Tunes SfC Part III Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2000
    star 10
    I haven't much to add, other than to say I agree with tom/Ender/R_10 about this. It's really, really easy to gloss over & mentally ignore posts, no matter how offensive, annoying, etc, the post/person might be. The full scope of the community ought to be presented (as it relates to actual, TOS-safe posts. Aesthetically speaking, using a program like AdBlock to block certain things doesn't takeaway from the full scope, at least from my point of view) to everyone.
  14. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    I agree that the ignore function seems counterintuitive. You cannot participate in a debate with only your side of the discussion. You only get half of the conversation when you have posts blocked. I've seen it in Lit where someone has another person blocked, and they commented on how fragmented the discussion was without being able to see that person's posts.

    It's easier to just skim over a post, or scroll away from it. The post is still there, should you decide to actually read and respond to it.
  15. jcgoble3 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2010
    star 4
    @TrakNar basically said what I was thinking.

    Question for @Ender Sai: Can you link to one or two or a few examples of threads where the ignore function has caused significant problems? I believe you that it can happen because I understand how it could easily happen, but I'm sure others who are on the fence would be curious to see the problems in action for themselves, plus I'm curious as to how often it actually happens.
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well it's hard to quantify the latter, jcgoble, because you're only aware of it when you see it up front. But I would point to two things that can assist;

    1) The quote from @tom above, which I borrowed, and
    2) The person who has put me and a few on ignore in the JC discussion on misogyny is currently unable to air any points in favour of it because they can't see my points to counter them.

    With no disrespect to Cushing's Admirer, there hasn't really been much in the way of a defence of the practise. And that's not to say C_A was deficient or anything; I interpret her posts more as seeing the ignore feature as a "nice to have" rather than an absolute necessity. And if people who have also used the ignore function could happily see it removed too, it strengthens that view.

    (not that "nice to have" is bad either).
    jcgoble3 likes this.
  17. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    I've never used the ignore function, and probably never will. It's not that difficult to avoid somebody who bugs you. If things get too out of hand, the mods are there. I really don't feel the feature is necessary, and as Tom said, it's frustrating and wrecks discussion.
    TrakNar and Ender Sai like this.
  18. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I don't really care if people put me on ignore and I do have a couple of people on ignore. I'd say it would be hard to read a discussion if one of the major posters is on ignore though, and if you're going to put people on ignore when they make points you disagree with, why bother participating in the discussion?
  19. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    Basically if I don't trust myself to refrain from abusive behaviour with someone, and want to keep chatting to everyone else, ignore is a fine option.

    The only problem I see it creating is that a few posts in some confrontational threads become invisible, but you can tell when one of the trolls is participating because the general mood nosedives.

    Leave it as it is, it's fine.

    Don't get personal.
    Last edited by JoinTheSchwarz, Jun 10, 2014
  20. rdhight Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2014
    star 3
    I don't have anyone on ignore so far, but it's a nice safety net to have. I like knowing that I have that option, and I would like it if that option were to remain open to me. And if others find my posts don't add to their experience, I don't feel like those others must be forced to read my words as the price of participation.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  21. Zapdos Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 7, 2013
    star 5
    also, i have to say, this is really clever of you, ender. if you think about how many enemies you've made and how many must have ignored you. they won't even see this thread and be able to vote against you.
    Last edited by Zapdos, Jun 3, 2014
    DarthRelaxus, V-2 and harpua like this.
  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I'm frankly only aware of two people who have me on ignore, and one is FIDo, so that hardly counts. V2 says he has, but given I almost never interact with him I'd hardly have noticed.

    But that isn't why I suggested it. We didn't have one on the old boards. If you need it, frankly, I would suggest hardening up a little. V2 talked about not being able to restrain himself; ok, fine, but how did you cope before it was implemented?

    That's the question I've seen nobody respond to.
    DarthTunick likes this.
  23. Carlos Danger Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 25, 2013
    star 1
    Won't the mods see your baiting behavior? Often a baiting comment upsets people other than your intended target. I've seen people baiting one person and it ended up irritating a whole lot of people. Baiting is bad behavior even if your intended target has ignored you.

    I would like to keep the ignore button. Yeah, we all coped prior to having it. I also coped without having an iPod in the 90s. It doesn't mean I don't like having it now.
    Last edited by Carlos Danger, Jun 3, 2014
  24. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well in my hypothetical, I was assuming a scenario in which the only offended person was the intended recipient who saw it; hence the Far Side-esque take on the "tree in a forest with nobody around" adage.
  25. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    One only has to look at 7SA (which is worse in some ways than 3SA was, because racism) to see how useless the ignore feature is in terms of improving the community or discussion or whatever pretense there is behind it.
    Ender Sai likes this.
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