How to Use the "Ignore User" Feature

I don’t believe this has been discussed on the forum yet, even though I think it’s a very helpful feature for a lot of people. There have been posts where people have asked about ways to do something akin to this in the past, so now that Discourse has added this feature, I wanted to make sure people knew about it and how to use it!


Differences Between “Mute” and “Ignore”


Somewhat recently, Discourse added a new feature where you can "ignore" users. In the past, the only measure in place when there were users you wished to avoid was the "mute" feature, which left a lot to be desired.

The “mute” feature would only suppress notifications from users you’ve muted. That is, if they replied or liked one of your posts, you would not receive a notification from them. You would still, however, see them around the forum and even in your own thread.

The “ignore” feature is a far-improved version of the still-present “mute” feature. The “ignore” feature suppresses all notifications and posts. When in use, the ignored user’s posts are hidden.

There is a caveat, however: You can only ignore a user for a maximum of four months. This is circumvented by re-ignoring the user, but it is a bit tedious, I know.


Tutorial


Using the "ignore" feature is simple! Here's a step-by-step tutorial with pictures.

First, you’ll want to click on your profile pic on the right end of the menu:

From there, you’ll want to click on your username:

This will open a little menu. You’ll want to click on “Preferences”:

Once you’re in Preferences, there will be another menu to the side. Select “Users”:

Here’s where the fun happens. As you can see, there is a section for “ignored users” and one for “muted users.”

To add someone to your ignore list, click the “+ Add…” button:

There is a text input box where you can enter the username of the person you wish to ignore and a dropdown menu to select the duration of the ignore. The options range from “Later today” to “Four months.”

When you start typing in the username, it will attempt to auto-complete, like it does when you @ someone. Click on the user you wish to ignore. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to temporarily ignore my friend @rinari.

Now you can select your timeframe for ignoring this user. When you reach the month options, it ends the ignore on the first of the month, rather than a full month from the time you start the ignore timer.

Once you have filled out both options, click the “Ignore” button:

The user is now added to your list of ignored users! All posts and notifications from them are now suppressed!

It’s quite easy to end an ignore before the timer runs out on its own. Simply click the “X” next to the user’s name, and they will be removed from your ignored users list:

When you have ignored a user, you can still search for them and their topics.

When they’re the original poster (OP) of a thread, their post is still visible, but the content of their first post is hidden from view:

However, their replies are hidden from view in the rest of their thread and in other threads. Discourse lets you know when there are hidden posts:

Clicking on the “View 2 Hidden Replies” text will show you their replies as though they weren’t ignored:

Unfortunately, threads created by ignored users will still show up in categories:



Pros and Cons


The "ignore" feature is not perfect. While there are a lot of great aspects to it, there are still some issues.
Pros Cons
Far more effective than the “mute” feature. Only works for at most four months at a time.
Hides users’ posts from threads. Doesn’t hide threads.
Still gives you the option to read hidden posts. Not immediately obvious that it exists.
Doesn’t alert the users you’ve ignored. Doesn’t hide you from the users you’ve ignored.


Summary


The "ignore" feature is a good solution for many users who wish to avoid seeing posts by other users. While it isn't a block, nor is it permanent, it's more effective than the "mute" feature. It's fairly easy to use and can make a difference in preventing friction in the community.

Anyway, I’m fairly happy that Discourse came around and introduced this feature! It should save a lot of us some unnecessary grief and hopefully make the community all-around more enjoyable to use! I hope I did an adequate job explaining how to use it in my tutorial, and if any of y’all have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them!

I hope y’all found this helpful!

31 Likes

I consider it myself a terrible feature that only serves to bully people and kill any possibility of understanding. Oh, I don’t like this person so I ignore them. You will never have the opportunity to see if your impression and prejudice against him her they are valid or not.
Maybe that person is not what you think he is, maybe you find an understanding of talking .
Then maybe that person wants to solve things or apologize, that ignores that, and nor give anyone the opportunity of change.

18 Likes

That’s super helpful Fawkes, and you did a wonderful job of explaining it, Thank you! The time limit is annoying, you’re right, but I think it’s a great way to allow you and the person you’re temp-blocking to “cool your heels” so to speak. And although you might have to re-up it, it also gives you the chance to collect your thoughts, and determine if you want to re-up it. Which is great, and like you said, will hopefully lead to less friction!

12 Likes

I am inclined to agree. Too many issues with shutting yourself into an echo chamber. You start to demonize everyone who doesn’t think or feel like you do, and the gulf between people widens further still.

That said, it’s good that the option is there, always better to have more features than less. I just hope it doesn’t get used too much.

4 Likes

There is no less friction at all because you are directly lying the other person. That doesn’t know that is being ignored. It has happened to me trying to make amends with a person that have me muted and thinking during months that person hates me.

Another thing is saying Look I will ignore you a time and we talk about later. But without that, you are closing the other person without giving her him them an opportunity at all.
Many people ignore and mute others that have never ever direct a word to them for reasons as It doesn’t like pink, Is not my same race or I don’t like his avatar.

If we are in a society that we can not even accept the idea, someone doesn’t think like us, is directly denying others to have interaction with us.

Another different thing is trolls and bullies, but hear the opinion of people who is different from us is what it makes us grow and improve

5 Likes

I mean, It’s a common feature in a lot of places so this is nothing new, and i think it’s helpful for taking care of your mental health as well as ignoring people who just want to get a rise out of you. Remember y’all, This is a forum for discussing and creating choose your own adventure games, a place to discuss things you enjoy and share in your passion with others. There’s really no need to subject yourself to something or someone if you don’t feel like you have the energy to deal with it all. This is only a tool to help, and a common one at that.

30 Likes

I think it’s sad that ignoring someone is such an accepted, even encouraged, social custom. It’s not nice to be ignored. But on the other hand, it’s a useful feature to have, and it’s there if people feel like they need it.

3 Likes

While it is admirable to try and resolve conflicts on your own, sometimes emotions can get heated, sometimes a user just finds it difficult to directly discuss things with someone they have an issue with, sometimes a conflict is so volatile that talking it over on your own can be nearly impossible. For this, and many other reasons, I would like to remind everyone that the mods are happy to help mediate any conflicts between users.

I would also like to reiterate the open inbox policy that the mods and I share—no question is too small or silly to ask!—along with the fact that we won’t indulge in the ignore/mute feature to better serve the forum and its users.

I hope this helps everyone realize that there’s multiple avenues for help, discussion, and resolution, and that they don’t have to feel like they’re on their own. :heart:

20 Likes

While something may be common elsewhere, that does not automatically make it “o.k.” or even “desired” here. This is an example where such a feature being imported highlights some changes this community has gone through – some of which are not the most desired changes.

The very real danger is the solidifying of clicks within the community. Cutting off communication is one surefire method of ensuring conformity within, so I do urge the use of this feature only as a last resort.

I think the 4-month limit is a good compromise and is a positive not a negative.

Hiding threads is also a positive, not a negative; being blindsided by issues being discussed can be detrimental to your experience and might even cause unintentional friction elsewhere.

There are other complications, I won’t go into here.

Also: Everyone please keep your tone civil towards each other and to keep your posts on topic.

Thanks.

10 Likes

Regardless of how anyone feels about the feature, it’s here so folks may as well know how to use it. Thank you Fawkes, for posting such an in-depth guide.

I would just add a couple of notes:

  • I believe only Trust Level 2 users (i.e., members) can use the ignore feature.

  • If enough (default is 5) users simultaneously ignore the same user, the mods are PMed. Nothing punitive, just a “hey might want to look into this” kinda PM.

  • You can also ignore/unignore a user by visiting their profile and clicking on the button just under the message button:

Like So

13 Likes

That is directly Military police … I, for instance, I am probably one of the most hated people in the forum. Not need to hide the fact that is easily visible. I don’t need Mods being bothered with “We all hate Mara” Or less I don’t need anyone pandering me or sermon me. I don’t go against any rules. I don’t have to fake being from one of the highschool’s cliches that are controlling the forum… And mods have enough working as it is To have to babysit who cliche, hates whoever. I like to think that all the people here are mature enough to not start a clique war and Ignore in massive amounts everyone else.
If that happens the forum, that is having a bad time lately, will be dead . If people don’t share info feedback and positive discussion about stuff . This is not a forum animore

6 Likes

Not really? This is an exceptionally well-behaved forum, even more well-behaved than I initially thought before I had access to flag data. Now that I do, I can see that this forum is just…really civilized most of the time! And that’s really cool! It means almost everyone here is capable of mature and measured discussion, and as a result, the mods have quite a bit of free time.

Most of the issues I’ve come across have just been regarding moving/locking threads, explaining rules that might have been broken, and showing people how markup works, but that’s all stuff even leaders can do, and none of those require a flag, just a simple pm.

None of our responsibilities require quite as much devotion as you might think, so I would be happy to help mediate whenever I’m on the forum.

12 Likes

No you’re not. I’m pretty sure by now most people know you’re just prone to speaking your mind :slight_smile:

14 Likes

Yes, but hiding a whole thread is not as personal, visceral or potentially petty as blocking a specific user.
Imho when users engage in behaviour that warrants a personal block then 9 times out of 10 they also warrant a temporary ban and that is, imho, a better way to deal with persistently disruptive people.

5 Likes

I’m sorry so many of y’all are concerned about the ignore feature! I didn’t realize this would be such a controversial feature for Discourse to have added, as I myself was pretty happy to discover it!

The “ignore” feature is really quite tame, I think, because it does not alert the person you’ve ignored, you can still see their posts if you choose, and they are still able to interact with you — but on your terms. It’s not a full-on block feature, as it doesn’t hide your profile or threads from them. They are entirely unaware that they’ve been ignored. That should eliminate any drama from people demanding to know why they’ve been ignored.

I personally see it more as an avenue for self-care. If there’s someone on the forum who distresses you for whatever reason, instead of having to leave the forum entirely to avoid them, you can simply ignore them. This should also cut down, I think, on what some might consider “petty” flags. The posts of the user(s) who upset you are no longer visible, meaning that you’re less likely to flag them out of possible personal duress.

And as far as this potentially making the forum “clique-y” — I believe that cliques are just as likely to happen regardless of this feature. This might actually lessen the appearance of cliques. Before, you might have only gone onto threads you know the people you have personal issues with won’t be on, so as to avoid confrontation with them. Now, however, you’re more likely to go on any thread, regardless of who might be on it, because you don’t have to worry about running into users you wish to avoid.

It should also prevent arguments from breaking out.

I doubt it will stop civil debates from occurring, because the people who debate issues are usually people who want to debate. This will prevent users who don’t wish to be dragged into debates from feeling obligated to respond when it could negatively impact their experience here or even their mental health.

And again, you always have the option to view hidden posts and respond to them. This means you get to choose when and if you’re in the mood to interact with someone, rather than feeling compelled to out of social norm.

This is solely my personal opinion, but I believe ultimately that the mental and emotional well-being of users should be prioritized over potentially distressing discourse. Only those who wish to engage in discourse and debate — those who feel up to it in the moment — should have to. I feel that users should be allowed to interact with topics and users at their own personal discretion and should have the tools available to them to ensure that their experience on the forum is a positive one, rather than one which leaves them drained.

Had this feature been implemented previously, I think I might not have taken a hiatus from the forum. :sweat_smile:

33 Likes

@Fawkes Quick question, does the “Ignore User” cover quotations? “Quotations” as if I highlight someone’s post and then I’m offered the “Quote” prompt.

For instance, let’s say I ignored Eiwynn, but in a reply to me you have a snipped quote from Eiwynn in your post. Would I still see Eiwynn’s snipped quote or would it be ignored?

1 Like

When a user you’ve ignored is quoted by someone else, you see an empty quote (so just the username and avatar of the ignored user, with no text in the quote box), but you can still click the little “expand/collapse” arrow and see the whole post by the ignored user.

5 Likes

Ah. Thanks for explaining.

Yeah. I don’t see a problem with this feature since “loopholes” like these exist.

4 Likes