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.
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.
|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.|
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!