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Talking through the Ignore Feature

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I would like to discuss the ignore feature in detail - primarily how users are using it, why they are using it that way, mod expectations around it's use, what other users expectations are around it's use and how ignore should be treated by everyone going forward.

My first thought is that the ignore feature can be used when someone else is being rude to you that doesn't require you to simply demand them to stop. That sounds great. Except, using the ignore feature cuts you off from other potentially meaningful posts that another poster makes. Now if they are rude 99% of the time and only say something meaningful 1% of the time then I think all of us would happily give up access to their few meaningful posts. But I don't think that's the general case. I think most of the time a far greater percentage of what someone says is meaningful and that they are only rude a small portion of the time and in those circumstance it seems that using the ignore feature is more akin to punishing myself for their bad behavior by cutting myself off from any meaningful thing they are saying.

So my expectation is that the ignore feature is a last resort toward someone that is incapable of not being rude (of course I wonder why anyone would be allowed to stay here while being that rude but I think that's a different subject). I get the impression that moderations expectation of the ignore feature is that it's a magical bullet that would solve every problem if people would just use it at the first sign of rudeness. On top of this, most rude behavior isn't directly against the rules but calling out that rude behavior is and tends to be treated more harshly than the instigating behavior.

So what are others thoughts? Am I missing something vitally important in this ignore debate? Does moderation have any comments or counterpoints? Is there an even better case for not going to the ignore feature straight away?
 
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jmartkdr2

Adventurer
So I took a moment to skim the official rules page: there's no mention of the feature, so I don't think there is an official moderator stance.

Page, for reference: Terms and rules
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I can tell you how I used it under the old software - if myself and someone else were butting heads in multiple threads, or they took it personal, I'd ignore them. For some it was a while for use to both cool down, for others it was bye-bye.

They dont' have to be rude to everyone (which would sooner or later be a ban-able offense), just annoying to me.

My understanding from the new software is that ignore just means I can't see their posts, but they can see mine. Since that would allow these potential bad actors to tear apart what I am posting without me getting a chance to know about it or respond. So I don't block anyone.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
So I took a moment to skim the official rules page: there's no mention of the feature, so I don't think there is an official moderator stance.

Page, for reference: Terms and rules
I think you are just quibbling on semantics - but would love to hear the mods take. All I know is it's mentioned an awful lot in mod red text posts as a solution. It's definitively possible my somewhat hyperbolic take on their position is off the mark though.
 
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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Now if they are rude 99% of the time and only say something meaningful 1% of the time then I think all of us would happily give up access to their few meaningful posts.
Not me.

I'll put up with the 99% just to get to that 1%; as everyone sooner or later has something useful to say and I want to hear it when it happens. :) And I'm used to people being rude and am - if I have to, say in an unmoderated forum - perfectly capable of giving back what I get.

Thus, I never - and will never - block anyone. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed that the option even exists.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
The main comments in this thread have so far centered around not wanting to use the current ignore feature, and surprisingly for vastly different reasons. I know it's too early to call that a consensus but I find that being the direction this appears to be heading very interesting. So exploring that paradigm a bit: if the ignore feature is either a last or no resort to these users - then what actually happens when such posters encounter rude behavior on this forum? I think there are a few possibilities:

1. Someone is rude so they are rude back. This can take many forms. But one I've seen many times is the perception that the other poster is derailing a fairly new thread. In that instance the rudeness back manifests with please go somewhere else (at the nicest) to get the heck out of here (at the most rude). What happens almost everytime in this kind of situation is being rude back gets the mods called on you and best case is both of you get in trouble and worst case is being rude back just got you in trouble.

2. Okay so why not just report the post when someone is rude and leave it be till the mods respond. Because the mods don't just respond to anything rude. They respond when it's sufficiently rude which typically requires a few iterations of escalation. So unless the post you reported was egregiously rude then no luck here.

3. So do nothing about what anyone does that's rude to you. That definitely makes the forum "appear" to be running smoother and makes the mods lives easier but I doubt that's the way any of us would want the forum to be ran.

IMO. None of these are good outcomes.
 



Saelorn

Hero
If someone is being obviously disingenuous, or their opinions are so heinously offensive that a reasonable person would not be able to let it stand unchallenged, I'll just block the person. Because calling someone out for their stupidity is considered a worse infraction than posting that stupidity in the first place. (Which is a bad policy, and not remotely fair, but this isn't a democracy and I don't pay the bills.)

And yes, that means the worst people will always get the last word in any debate, because I can't see what they say; but the first rule of internet forums is, "Don't feed the trolls".
 


FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If someone is being obviously disingenuous, or their opinions are so heinously offensive that a reasonable person would not be able to let it stand unchallenged, I'll just block the person. Because calling someone out for their stupidity is considered a worse infraction than posting that stupidity in the first place. (Which is a bad policy, and not remotely fair, but this isn't a democracy and I don't pay the bills.)

And yes, that means the worst people will always get the last word in any debate, because I can't see what they say; but the first rule of internet forums is, "Don't feed the trolls".
I fully agree with this and please don't let this next comment take away from that. I think that sometimes in our search for trolls we find some where there aren't any.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Because calling someone out for their stupidity is considered a worse infraction than posting that stupidity in the first place. (Which is a bad policy, and not remotely fair, but this isn't a democracy and I don't pay the bills.)
I really wanted to touch on this point because it's something that I think you've articulated better than I and it's something until recently I hadn't begun to be able to articulate at all. I think understanding your point above on some level and taking it to heart is the biggest thing separating posters that avoid "mod wrath" and those that see it a great deal.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
My brain comes equipped with an ignore feature that does a better job than the software of filtering out--well, at least skipping over--posts that don't interest or offend me.
 

Li Shenron

Legend
Not me.

I'll put up with the 99% just to get to that 1%; as everyone sooner or later has something useful to say and I want to hear it when it happens. :) And I'm used to people being rude and am - if I have to, say in an unmoderated forum - perfectly capable of giving back what I get.

Thus, I never - and will never - block anyone. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed that the option even exists.
Fair enough.

Personally I have "ignored" a lot of people, primarily when they reveal themselves to indulge in hate ideologies. Others because they responded in a rude manner to my posts. Usually I remove everyone from my ignore list a couple of times a year, because I can understand people might be rude on a bad day without being bad people outright, and I know I am myself guilty sometimes (who knows how many ignore lists I belong to...).

If anything, I would like there was an option for me to set how long someone should be on my ignore list, at least a choices between temporary and permanently. Because those belonging to hate groups I would like to remember NOT to un-ignore them. I am tired of giving second chances to people who CHOOSE to not giving chances to others based on what they ARE and therefore cannot choose.

Honestly, I absolutely do not care whether they have something useful to say to the hobby.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
My first thought is that the ignore feature can be used when someone else is being rude to you that doesn't require you to simply demand them to stop. That sounds great. Except, using the ignore feature cuts you off from other potentially meaningful posts that another poster makes.
Yep, it does that.

So my expectation is that the ignore feature is a last resort toward someone that is incapable of not being rude (of course I wonder why anyone would be allowed to stay here while being that rude but I think that's a different subject).
There are a significant number of posters (and, outside this virtual place, just people in the world) who are fine with most other people in the world, but who find a few individuals who, for whatever reason - something in their manner, tone, word choice, approach to the world, whatever - they just rub the wrong way. Much of their irritation may not be anything that's explicitly against the site rules, but they end up wrangling with these folks or annoyed repeatedly. The ignore function is very useful in those cases.

We provide it as a tool to help you control your own experience.

I get the impression that moderations expectation of the ignore feature is that it's a magical bullet that would solve every problem if people would just use it at the first sign of rudeness.
We don't have any overall expectations of the feature. We suggest it when we think it may aid someone's experience of the site, but we don't generally count on its use.

On top of this, most rude behavior isn't directly against the rules but calling out that rude behavior is and tends to be treated more harshly than the instigating behavior.
If you'd like me to go into an extended discussion of escalating behaviors, and why "calling out" generally doesn't work on the internet, I can do so.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Supporter
3. So do nothing about what anyone does that's rude to you. That definitely makes the forum "appear" to be running smoother and makes the mods lives easier but I doubt that's the way any of us would want the forum to be ran.
This is what I try to do. (I'm better than I used to be, and I still have days where I backslide.) Ultimately, getting you to show any sort of response to their provocations is how a lot of people define "winning the internet", I'm not going to waste my valuable time giving anyone the satisfaction. Slide into a thread, make your point, and walk away.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Thrall of Coot.
This is what I try to do. (I'm better than I used to be, and I still have days where I backslide.) Ultimately, getting you to show any sort of response to their provocations is how a lot of people define "winning the internet", I'm not going to waste my valuable time giving anyone the satisfaction. Slide into a thread, make your point, and walk away.
Try is the key word. There's something about the dopamine of the internet (forum, social media, etc.) that makes fools us of all.

"But this time it will be different! I just know that if I explain it one more time, they will get it."

Having a well-functioning ignore/block feature is really important. The best way to avoid temptation, is to not put yourself in situations where you are tempted.
 

Because calling someone out for their stupidity is considered a worse infraction than posting that stupidity in the first place. (Which is a bad policy, and not remotely fair, but this isn't a democracy and I don't pay the bills.)
Posting something "stupid" has never been against the rules. Challenging an opinion has never been against the rules. But personal insults are. If you can argue that a point is stupid (and can come up with better terminology and reasons than just "stupid") you will rarely get in trouble. But "calling out someone for their stupidity" is pretty much always going to a personal attack, and you'll get nailed every time.

2. Okay so why not just report the post when someone is rude and leave it be till the mods respond. Because the mods don't just respond to anything rude. They respond when it's sufficiently rude which typically requires a few iterations of escalation. So unless the post you reported was egregiously rude then no luck here.
This is exactly the response you should take. First, just because you think something is rude doesn't necessarily mean it's against the rules. Second, if you take part in a "a few iterations of escalation", you are straight up being the problem - not the solution.

Most importantly, the mods don't necessarily respond to every individual report, but that doesn't mean they're not listening. The mods pay attention to the number of reports an individual generates, and people's behavior over time. A person who continually puts their toes over the line will eventually be called out for it, while someone who accidentally steps over it for the first time is likely to be given the benefit of the doubt. Just because a response is not immediate doesn't mean you're being ignored.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
The main comments in this thread have so far centered around not wanting to use the current ignore feature, and surprisingly for vastly different reasons. I know it's too early to call that a consensus but I find that being the direction this appears to be heading very interesting. So exploring that paradigm a bit: if the ignore feature is either a last or no resort to these users - then what actually happens when such posters encounter rude behavior on this forum? I think there are a few possibilities:

1. Someone is rude so they are rude back. This can take many forms. But one I've seen many times is the perception that the other poster is derailing a fairly new thread. In that instance the rudeness back manifests with please go somewhere else (at the nicest) to get the heck out of here (at the most rude). What happens almost everytime in this kind of situation is being rude back gets the mods called on you and best case is both of you get in trouble and worst case is being rude back just got you in trouble.

2. Okay so why not just report the post when someone is rude and leave it be till the mods respond. Because the mods don't just respond to anything rude. They respond when it's sufficiently rude which typically requires a few iterations of escalation. So unless the post you reported was egregiously rude then no luck here.

3. So do nothing about what anyone does that's rude to you. That definitely makes the forum "appear" to be running smoother and makes the mods lives easier but I doubt that's the way any of us would want the forum to be ran.

IMO. None of these are good outcomes.
I have a personal system I use to try to govern my own behavior. It’s a 3-peat. In any conversation, if we’ve gone 3 posts without any productive discussion, I disengage and don’t respond. This prevents me from needlessly continuing bad conversations or side-tracking good conversations too far from the main point.

The last word isn’t important to me. If I’m right, I’m right, regardless of who spoke last. Same if I’m wrong.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I have a personal system I use to try to govern my own behavior. It’s a 3-peat. In any conversation, if we’ve gone 3 posts without any productive discussion, I disengage and don’t respond. This prevents me from needlessly continuing bad conversations or side-tracking good conversations too far from the main point.

The last word isn’t important to me. If I’m right, I’m right, regardless of who spoke last. Same if I’m wrong.
Seems like a good rule for life in general. Three strikes and you're out.
 

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