Ability to Block individual users
AmbivalentDuck last edited by
I think the most important concern would be something like tourney postings. Let's say user X tends to go on lengthy tirades about how Ancestral Recall is so much better than Mox Sapphire. What happens user X also organizes a tourney and posts an announcement? Alternatively, Steel Mox is printed in the new set and user X makes the thread where it's discussed. Suddenly, you don't know that you've made a duplicate thread.
I don't think anyone starts enough threads that blocking whole threads is necessary. What's the average? 2-5 threads made on the whole forum in a typical day?
I think it would be possible to block posts from a user, but still be able to see other posts in threads that they've started. Maybe see the thread title, but not the initial post
I'm not too worried about the Tournament Announcement issue - if you feel the need to block a user, chances are pretty good you wouldn't want to go to that tournament anyway. (and you can unblock a user temporarily if you see that they've posted an event)
Aaron Patten last edited by
If a person is incapable of ignoring someone's posts isn't that just a lesson they're going to have to eventually learn anyway? I don't see the advantage to blocking posts. I definately see the disadvantages though. I can understand wanting to block private messages but blocking posts seems like it's not worth the time it would take to implment the feature..
SamwiseKimchi last edited by SamwiseKimchi
I'm still missing: What's the negative impact to the site if we implement this? I haven't heard any compelling arguments
This may be a minor thing that never becomes relevant, but from experience with people on FB blocking each other, threads can sometimes get gummed up with X and Y (who've blocked each other) both responding to the OP, sometimes even with the same opinion, the OP responding to both, then having to explain that X also said that, and Y saying, "Yes, well I blocked X." Or a poster referencing something Y said when responding to X, then needing to elaborate, and basically just creating a lot of redundancy/awkwardness for those of us who are watching it all. Especially in the type of threads that provoke lengthy and thoughtful conversations, this can be a lot to filter through.
That said, I won't oppose this feature due to how strongly some people feel they need it, but I wouldn't advocate it for the reason above and for the genuine hope that open discourse can at the very least create a respectful "agree to disagree" situation.
@SamwiseKimchi I could see that being annoying, but I'm doubting it would end up a consistent serious problem on the site ... if it did end up being a problem though, we would definitely have to reconsider whatever policy led to it - no arguments there
I posted in the other thread, but basically: you can't make me read things I don't want to read. You can try to force my by not building features, but then I'll either skip over stuff manually, or I'll make a chrome extensions or something to delete the text. Either way, there is no world where I have to engage with people I don't want to engage with.
Have posts be hidden/collapsed rather than completely omitted. Works for reddit with downvoted posts.
@LHC you'd waste time building a Chrome Extention to delete text from a specific user? How do you actively sensor that person when you have to interact with them in person? Did you build Chrome Extentions in the past to ignore people?
@Soly Walk away? If I absolutely have to interact with them, I do it like a mature adult but this is a website regarding a recreational activity. If I become inundated by things that rub me the wrong way, I will simply stop using it and turn back to Facebook for my Vintage-related information.
That said, Andy has been very patient with this line of conversation and I imagine he's getting a tad bit exasperated. If you want to talk about this further, hit me up on Facebook or using the new chat feature.
@Soly Me not wanting to listen to someone is not censorship. I'm not obligated to listen to what anyone else says. That's not what censorship means or is.
If I become inundated by things that >rub me the wrong way, I will simply >stop using it
The best reason for a block feature is harassment and trolling.
But "being rubbed the wrong way" is exactly the reason a block function shouldn't be permitted. If the slightest discomfort is cause for blocking, how can meaningful discussion be expected around areas of disagreement, let alone sharp disagreement?
Blocking undermines the potential for dialogue, and destroys community in the process.
@Smmenen Giving people the ability to block others allows them to define that criteria, to their own benefit or detriment. In my case, discomfort really isn't a factor and I regret using the idiom that I did. My own personal criteria would be repetitive posts of declarative statements without supporting evidence or discussion and very few people I've encountered fit that description. However, I do not think that my own ideals should dictate what others are allowed to do (within the confines of whatever code of conduct Andy comes up with) and I don't think yours should either. If you think that blocking/ignoring is a bad feature, I think a reasonable course of action is to not use it.
If the two highest goals of TMD are dialogue/discussion and community, it's difficult for me to see -- however convenient such a feature might be individually -- how permitting users to be blocked, on balance, does not harm those interests more than helps.
The issue is less "censorship" (although I think it could have a cumulative effect that looks like that) than the potential for harm such a feature would engender by diminishing dialogue. Your post, regardless of idioms, reminds how such a feature is subject to whim and vagery.
I'm not seeking to impose my ideals. Rather, I hope to persuade other members, including Andy, to not vote for such a feature by appealing to reason with reference to the goals of this site because of its destructive potential.
Just wanted to echo the request for this feature again. I have seen more and more lately the infighting and then someone who si trying to contribute to a thread being driven away by specific users. If we had an ignore (or just ignore in this thread) feature I think it would be helped.
The argument has been made that a block/ignore feature would stifle conversation, I think the opposite is true. Threads die because arguments break out until someone wears the other person's resolve and they stop posting, but it has been so long since people talked about anything but the argument that there is no longer anything reasonable to discuss.
Brass Man last edited by Brass Man
@garbageaggro: Reading some of the threads lately, I suspect you might be right. Hoping that the community can self-regulate only works if I hold up my end of the bargain, and over the past few weeks I haven't been.
I'll be looking into how difficult it is to implement user blocking, but also considering other approaches to improving the quality of discussion. (I encourage anyone to contact me if they have opinions about this)
ajfirecracker last edited by
I think such a feature would be highly valuable. Meaningful discussion is a two-way street and if one person doesn't want to engage there's nothing to be gained from requiring that to interact with the rest of TMD they pay the price of interacting with whichever person they dislike
I personally don't have anyone I wish to block right now but I can imagine I might sooner or later so out of selfishness I would prefer the feature is available
BazaarOfBaghdad last edited by
@Brass-Man How about appending a flag button to each post that, once clicked X times (as determined by moderators), generates a message to the user and moderators that there may be something said worth editing/deleting or at least a warning to back down form future posts on the topic? The flag would entail a hover instruction reminding users that it is not to be used to signal disagreement with a post's content but rather its tone.
@BazaarOfBaghdad There is currently a flag feature on posts, and it gets used VERY rarely. There's no automated action appended to it, but that's not an issue because I don't think I've ever seen a single post get flagged more than twice (even when I've had more than two people message me privately to complain about a post).
It's possible this is a UI/UX problem, but I think some combination of community engagement/redesign would be needed to make a flagging feature actually useful
I think we flagging and blocking are about different things. I would imagine that other people get something more from interacting with some folks than I do, and vice versa. Flagging is for offensive things, that possibly drive groups of people away, blocking just lets me not interact with someone that gets on my nerves.
There was a much longer thread that spawned this conversation, but the critique that stands out in my mind is that it's tantamount to creating "safe spaces" on The Mana Drain. It allows users to silence people they disagree with, or disagree with them. As long as that disagreement is not abusive (name-calling, etc.), then silencing those they disagree with is destructive to the very concept of community.
The Vintage community, like any other community, is full of differences of opinion on many topics and matters. In fact, that may be the forum's most valuable function: to allow differences of opinion to surface, and to allow opinions, viewpoints, and ideas to receive community-wide scrutiny, as decks, ideas, and card discussions debates to unfold. It's only through the exchange of divergent viewpoints that readers can assess who has the stronger argument (or more compelling opinion), and where the truth lies. If this weren't true, then the only function of the forum would be a staid place where harmony is coerced, if not maintained. The goal of TMD, to my view, isn't harmony - it's to discuss, debate, and share ideas and opinions, which will often mean disagreements.
Unfortunately, because Vintage players are so passionate, those disagreements can become quite intense (such as around B&R list policy). If a subject or dispute becomes heated enough, then segments of the community may become polarized. If opinions polarize on a constellation of issues, then it's certainly conceivable, if not inevitable, that such polarity will create clusters that would use such a function to silence the segments on the other side. A disagreement over Issue A would ultimately mean that opposing sides wouldn't hear differing opinions on Issue B, and so on. When that happens, you've destroyed community, and each side will have retreated into a "safe space" where it hears only agreeable viewpoints and opinions.
The Mana Drain, like any other internet community of interest, is the 21st century equivalent of a 20th century fanzine or newspaper, where people publish opinions, letters, etc. and can respond to them in turn. People are free to ignore what they wish to ignore (by refusing to read the thread or the post), but the idea blocking a specific user is closer to censorship that ignoring. Any possible reason that such a feature would be needed would be better regulated by 1) moderating any abusive posts, and 2) asking users to ignore threads or users (rather than block) that they prefer not to read. As with a newspaper, you don't have to read someone's column you don't like.
It sounds like people need to use the flagging function more - so educating users on that could go a long way to solving whatever legitimate interests motivate this request.
I think such a feature would be highly valuable. Meaningful discussion is a two-way street and
Meaningful discussion is indeed a two-way street, but if a person doesn't want to engage, then they don't have to. Nothing compels folks to write letters to newspaper on articles or letters they don't wish to interact with.
if one person doesn't want to engage there's nothing to be gained from requiring that to interact with the rest of TMD
The absence of a blocking feature doesn't compel or "require" people to interact (as you state). On the other hand, a blocking feature would destroy even the possibility of the "two way street" in at least some situations.
they pay the price of interacting with whichever person they dislike
Communities, neighborhoods, social clubs, workplaces, etc. are full of people who dislike each other. I don't think "disliking" someone or "disagreeing" with someone is a good enough reason to justify such extreme action that ultimately destroys exchange of different opinions, which is the function of the forum.
Realistically, if someone has Blocked another user, they're not going to post responses to that users posts anyway. I'm still missing: What's the negative impact to the site if we implement this? I haven't heard any compelling arguments
I'll flip your question: if people aren't going to post responses anyway, then what purpose does such a feature serve? If that's the case, then the most compelling argument against it is that it's unnecessary. IMO, the burden should be on those requesting such a feature to justify why it should exist, not on those who don't agree with it to establish why it shouldn't.
The only possible reasons I can see (or that have been mentioned) for such a function are:
- dislike a user
- thread derailment
The first is addressed by moderation, and a blocking feature is unnecessary (and not the best way to deal with that problem).
The second is clearly an illegitimate reason for such a feature, as it destroys the exchange of divergent opinions and creates safe space free from disagreement. As cutlex said "Someone mentioned that part of being a community is hearing things you don't like. I tend to agree."
The third is not really legitimate in a community either, as dislike is usually going to be a consequence of disagreement, but imputed to a person rather than an idea.
Regarding the fourth reason, I don't think thread derailment is actually a real problem, much like voter fraud. Every time someone claims it's happening, the thread eventually shifts back to the other elements or main point. All threads are non-linear, in the sense that sub discussion emerge frequently, and weave in and out of salience depending on which features of a discussions are being most discussed. It's natural for discussions to veer into sub topics or subsidiary debates.
In any case, if this is really a problem, the best solution to it is for moderators to remove subdiscussions to separate threads, not to permit blocking.