Metafilter Killfiles February 13, 2009 1:45 AM   Subscribe

What third-party Metafilter killfiles/killfilters — if any — have been developed, and do any still function on the way the site acts nowadays, all AJAX-ified and such?
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 1:45 AM (77 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I wrote and use one. It's pretty simple, it just replaces all the posts in a given thread by the members you've plonked with a message reading "Removed comment by $poster, who is on your ignore list" in the same style as the deleted post notice ("This post was deleted for the following reason"). Requires GreaseMonkey, natch. It works quickly and the slowdown in thread loading time is almost imperceptible. The only drawback is that you have to manually edit the script itself to put people in the list, but it's pretty straightforward to do so. Send me a MeMail if you want a copy, I haven't put it up on userscripts.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:26 AM on February 13, 2009


Actually, never mind, I put a copy up here for anyone who wants it. You'll need to click "download" on that link, save the file somewhere, then open it in Firefox with "Open File", then GreaseMonkey should ask you if you want to install it. Once installed, go to "Manage User Scripts" in GreaseMonkey, edit the script, and replace this line:

var ignorelist = ["DummyUser01","DummyUser02"];

with the users you want to plonk. It works across all the subsites (and it does only filter comments, not FPPs, if that wasn't clear) and should continue to work unless there's a pretty significant MeFi redesign.

If anyone can come up with a good way to automate the plonking without editing the script, please do. I don't know a lot of JavaScript, and I just edited some other script by trial and error to get this to work.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:48 AM on February 13, 2009


var ignorelist = ["mathowie","jessamyn","cortex"];

I am impervious to supercensorship!
posted by clearly at 4:13 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Killfiling is infantile nyah-nyah-nyah-I-can't-hear-you, and destructive to community and reasoned discussion, even in the presence of trollery. It is wrong and lazy, because if you really care about the things you say, you remain undaunted by the kooks and loons and shouters, and by people who get all up in your face mostly because they're just having a bad day. Killfiling removes the possibility that we can violently and vehemently disagree with someone over some issue one day, but find commonality and agreement over some other fact the next, and in the process understand that we are all just people in the end, all one, even if we don't see eye to eye. It encourages tribalism and hatred and strife and all the blood bone monkey murder foolishness that keeps our feet mired in the fucking mud of history.

The fact that we can do it on the internet, here where we interact in text, doesn't make it any less ignoble than sticking our fingers in our ears like the 7-year-old who doesn't want hear that he has to go to bed.

But you know, that's just me, talking.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:20 AM on February 13, 2009 [36 favorites]


I used to agree with you stav but lately there are three or four users who seem to feel the need to post in every single thread, or at least in every one I open on the blue and green. They are always right up there in the first few comments, saying nothing much, and it's started to irritate the hell out of me. I was just thinking the other day that it might be nice to killfile them quietly, at least for a test.
Do those of you who do use them see much of a downside?
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:49 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't get it - why is this thread blank?
posted by yhbc at 5:28 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


[[Removed comment by Potomac Avenue, who is on your ignore list]]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:32 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Assuming I'm not in your killfile, does using something like this ever make it difficult to follow the thread of a conversation?
posted by fixedgear at 5:50 AM on February 13, 2009


Assuming I'm not in your killfile, does using something like this ever make it difficult to follow the thread of a conversation?
posted by minifigs at 6:12 AM on February 13, 2009


Yes.
posted by tommasz at 6:42 AM on February 13, 2009


No.
posted by tommasz at 6:42 AM on February 13, 2009


Assuming I'm not in your house, does using something like this ever make it difficult to follow you when you go shopping?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:45 AM on February 13, 2009


Does killfiling someone mean you can't flag their comments? Because flagging is pretty important to us here. Otherwise as another cranky oldster on the internet, I'm firmly in stav's camp.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 AM on February 13, 2009


If you want to do this on boingboing, use a kllfl.
posted by lukemeister at 7:10 AM on February 13, 2009


I used one of these for a while, and while it did help me not see the annoying posts, I could still see other people complaining about or responding to the annoying posts, which made me curious about what exactly had been said in the annoying posts, which meant I had to temporarily turn off greasemonkey to satisfy my curiosity, which meant that at the end of the day I was spending far more attention on the annoying posts than I would have if I'd just skimmed over them in the first place.

So I stopped using it.
posted by ook at 7:19 AM on February 13, 2009


I will not be gagged!

/gags.
posted by Jofus at 7:20 AM on February 13, 2009


Has anyone produced a script that will auto-flag every other comment but mine as noise?

You guys just fluff around in threads. I cut right to the heart of the issue.
posted by graventy at 7:51 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I used one of these for a while"

At first glance, I read that as "I used one of these for the wife" and I was all "Hell yeah, where can I get one?"

Note: Honey, if you're reading this that was totally a joke.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:04 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know, dear. Come back to bed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Go home, dad, you're drunk...
posted by y2karl at 8:40 AM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Killfiling is infantile nyah-nyah-nyah-I-can't-hear-you, and destructive to community and reasoned discussion

And if you're ignoring other people's arguments this way, you're the one who looks like a fool.
posted by oaf at 9:12 AM on February 13, 2009


Yes, last I knew (though I don't use it for kill-filing feature), Mondo Meta works to killfile people. I imagine I would have heard if it had developed major failings, but make no claims to omniscience.

As an, even crankier, even older, oldster on the internet, I happen to think stavrosthewonderchicken's opinion on killfiles is mostly purple-prosed baloney with no evidentiary support, but I've had that conversation here with him about that, too. As a balm for that comment, I find myself agreeing with him quite frequently on many other topics, more than most posts here. It's almost like different people have different opinions on different things, though the idea seems far to radical to fly.

Taking notice on another passing comment, complaining about loss of a flagging on a message that someone doesn't see based on, at most, a vanishingly small percentage of people for a even smaller number of messages, is a lame point to make against killfiles.
posted by mdevore at 9:12 AM on February 13, 2009


There are some users whose comments I just scroll past without reading. For those of you against killfiles, is this just as bad? Why/why not?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:39 AM on February 13, 2009


Lentrohamsanin: There are some users whose comments I just scroll past without reading. For those of you against killfiles, is this just as bad? Why/why not?

One is completely removing any possibility of seeing their comment while the other allows the opportunity to choose to read their comments if you want to.
posted by flatluigi at 9:51 AM on February 13, 2009


I think a killfile would only work here if we had threaded comments. That way, you wouldn't see any weird partial conversations.

I don't have any problem with the idea of a killfile, and don't really see what all the hubbub is about. I probably would never use one, though; although some users definitely get on my nerves, they don't do so consistently enough to where I'd never want to see them again.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:12 AM on February 13, 2009


Does anyone have an add-on that takes the name jessamyn and replaces it with cooter?

I'd use it!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:12 AM on February 13, 2009


I'd like to ask everyone with a killfile to add me. If you use one, I don't really want to interact with you either.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:15 AM on February 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


There are some users whose comments I just scroll past without reading.

Are you reading MetaFilter upside down?
posted by oaf at 11:25 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has anyone made a thrill file add-on? A MeFi-lurking friend of mine who happens to be a baleen whale wants to ask after the status of krill files.
posted by everichon at 11:36 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I use a stillfile to keep track of the drunks.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:42 AM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


At the end of a long week, I turn to my chillfiles.
posted by everichon at 11:55 AM on February 13, 2009


Are you reading MetaFilter upside down?

You'd be amazed how many of our more tedious members are identifiable within a few words. Also, I generally scroll until I have a page of unread text, read until I get close to the bottom, then scroll until I have a full page again, etc., so I end up scanning for usernames too.

Don't get me started on my process for properly eating baked potatoes...
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:00 PM on February 13, 2009




I'm pretty sure that if you check http://scoresfile.metafilter.com/rules, you'll see this in your configuration file:

# Standard settings, not user-editable

# Default defines the score every new comment starts with. Default score is 10
default_score: 10

# Kill threshold defines the minimum score necessary to hide a post or comment.
kill_threshold: 0

# Custom rules adjust the default score
# and are compared to the kill threshold before displaying
in_text: [mM]etafilter [pP]ro | score: -5
in_text: [iI]'d hit it | score: -2
in_link: fark.com | score: -5
posted_by: paphnuty | score: -100

posted by ardgedee at 12:04 PM on February 13, 2009


Killfiles used broadly are a bad thing. Open discussions about kill-filing is a disgusting mess. So as a general operating principle, I agree that kill files should be discouraged.

That being said, there are limited instances where I think they are useful or at least their utility outweighs their detrimental value. I have used a killfile in very limited instances, and I have done so for the benefit of everyone else. I have only stuck a handful of people on it, and it has only been people who seem to constantly try to bait me/insult me, people who would incessantly foam at the mouth whenever I posted and wanted to attack me instead of what I was saying at any given point. I don't like having to use it. I would rather not. But after years of dealing with some petty assholes here, I learned that there were two results from attempts to bait me or shout me down: (1) I would respond and it would cause a mess; or (2) try to ignore it, and while that generally works, it would occasionally slip out or spill over and cause a mess--a few comments are easily ignored, but repetitive direct and violent hostility wears thin. So by just blocking them outright I think is best for everyone. I think in the long run some of them have just given up, so there is that benefit too.

The best would be that we treated each other with enough personal respect that while we disagree passionately over ideas, we do not have to attack each other personally. If we could do that, then such things would not be necessary. But that isn't happening. And I'm not going to make the best the enemy of the good. I think it is good for everyone that I ignore certain people who pettily try to start crap with me. I hope it has made me a less disruptive user because I don't want to be seen as disruptive.

So while I agree generally that they are a bad thing, I think there are some limited applications in which they may be a good thing.
posted by dios at 12:05 PM on February 13, 2009


shillfile
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2009


Eh. You could have a killfile that also ignores comments with links to blocked comments or profiles or ... you could use "." to skip a comment & "," to go back up.

There's a script for changing "hack" with the string of your choice on Metafilter, so you could modify that & switch other words around too. You could have your own "mathowie mathowie mathowie" version of Mefi.

Just note that you'll look like you have brain damage when you either repeat good points made by people you're ignoring, or you misread / misquote people.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:33 PM on February 13, 2009


I only read my own comments anyway. And yeah, I can be a pretty tedious prick...
posted by Navelgazer at 12:36 PM on February 13, 2009


I disagree with Stav and Jess on this one.

Killfiling is not sticking my fingers in my ears; it's turning down the blaring, crap-spouting television in the corner so that I can focus on the conversation I'm having.

I don't want to muzzle people who disagree with me. I want to make my MetaFilter experience more enjoyable. I'm sure that there are folks out there who find my posts consistently irritating, and would like to be able to remove them from their MetaFilter experience.

The admins are certainly under no obligation to offer this functionality if they disagree with it, but I'm glad there are tools that let users killfile me, and I don't think that they're being childish simply for choosing to do so.
posted by DWRoelands at 12:58 PM on February 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


a script for changing "hack" with the string of your choice on Metafilter

Make it replace "mashup," too, and I'm sold.
posted by uncleozzy at 1:12 PM on February 13, 2009


Anyone have a shrillfile script I can borrow?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:13 PM on February 13, 2009


Is anybody else seeing the fnords? Maybe it's a wayward script I installed and forgot about...
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:25 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about, instead of a mute button, a button to turn the volume down? Make the text smaller &/or faded.

fnord.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:45 PM on February 13, 2009


I wish there were a way to block out any comment that used the strike tag.

(commence re-posting "FTFY" versions of this comment NOW)
posted by Afroblanco at 2:06 PM on February 13, 2009


but I'm serious. fuck the strike tag.
posted by Afroblanco at 2:07 PM on February 13, 2009


chill pill for you, pillfile for me
posted by y2karl at 2:08 PM on February 13, 2009


No fnords, monju, but plenty of nargles.
posted by deborah at 2:15 PM on February 13, 2009


This thread is bliss.
posted by jonmc at 2:48 PM on February 13, 2009


I'm testing one right now which deletes posts I don't like from the front page.
posted by gman at 2:53 PM on February 13, 2009


As far as my script goes (can't speak for any others that may be out there):

1. No, it doesn't make it hard to follow a conversation at all. It might if you put everyone you ever disagree with in it, but the people in mine generally don't contribute much of substance to conversations, which is why they're in there.

2. You can't flag posts that are plonked, because they're just replaced with a little box. Generally you wouldn't put someone in there, though, until you'd already flagged several of their posts.

3. If you're morally opposed to not being annoyed, don't use such a script. It's pretty clear that such a feature will never be a first-party addition to MeFi. The idea of killfiles has been around longer than the web itself, originating on USENET, and most web forum packages have an "ignore poster" button. It hasn't yet caused the downfall of internets civilization.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:10 PM on February 13, 2009


Killfiling [... snip snippedy snip snip SNIP snip snip snip SNIPPEDY ... god, continuing to snip snippedy snip snip snip ... scissors aren't doing it, grabbing machete ... whack ... whack ... damn thing is dull now ... grabbing sharpening stone ... WHACK ... finally done!] ... encourages tribalism and hatred and strife and all the blood bone monkey murder foolishness that keeps our feet mired in the fucking mud of history.

Stavros, man, I respect about 99% of what I've read of yours in the past, but this couldn't be any more full of empty sophistry than if you had consciously tried to make it that way.
posted by WCityMike at 3:31 PM on February 13, 2009


The idea of killfiles has been around longer than the web itself, originating on USENET, and most web forum packages have an "ignore poster" button. It hasn't yet caused the downfall of internets civilization.

Have you looked at other forums?
posted by Pronoiac at 3:35 PM on February 13, 2009


Basically, killfiles seem to me to be decent as long as they're not the majority-suggested remedy for dealing with jackasses and jerkoffs. In my dream world, which is only one of many MetaFilter dream worlds, we'd be able to deal with people being anti-community within the community. That said, if seeing other people being their same assholish selves makes you too irritated to continue contributing to this site normally, then not looking at them may solve your particular problem. I do not think, however, that it solves a site problem and that's why I'm not really in favor of them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:47 PM on February 13, 2009


Yeah, I'm mostly in agreement with stavros in theory if inclined to see rare killfiling as an acceptable move from someone if self-control isn't going to cut it re: them not flipping out at someone they can't stand. Avoiding unnecessary flipouts is a net win for everyone else on the site who is being spared the experience.

Basically, if you're gonna killfile, it should be because you need to killfile; and if you're gonna killfile, please don't bother telling anyone about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:59 PM on February 13, 2009


Now in convenient graph format.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:17 PM on February 13, 2009


In my dream world, which is only one of many MetaFilter dream worlds, we'd be able to deal with people being anti-community within the community.

After you've been here for years, and see the same posters grinding the same ax, and being jackasses right up to the point where they should be banned but not quite, you get tired of constantly having to filter people out.

I used to be with stavros on this one. I used to think that it was about "standing up to the opposition" and "being strong enough to hold your own". Now I've realized that there are a million reasons why people post comments here. Some are genuine. Some want thoughtful discourse. Some are good people just trying to understand and to express their views. But some aren't that nice. Some are here to get your goat. Some just want to see people yell at each other. Some are simply interested in shouting their own views at the tops of their lungs.

I'm not suggesting that Matt should officially condone killfilling as a site feature. But more and more I've been wishing for a way to clean up the site. Too many users, too many comments, and when you know something is noise, it's nice that there is a script of some sort to make the site a little more sane.

I don't think it's anti-community at all. In every community, if you don't like someone, you avoid them. On the internet, it's a lot simpler than in real life.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 4:21 PM on February 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I happen to think stavrosthewonderchicken's opinion on killfiles is mostly purple-prosed baloney

Well, I was Posting While Under The Influence, which I usually don't do, so I do fear I waxed a little waxy, there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 PM on February 13, 2009


The big problem with killfiles, for me personally, is that I'll use it, and days later temptation gets the best of me. Defeats the whole purpose.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:57 PM on February 13, 2009


CunningLinguist: Do those of you who do use them see much of a downside?

Sometimes, when I use GreaseMonkey to block people, and they've favorited a comment, Greasemonkey will block the whole list of people who have favorited that comment. That's about it.

stavrosthewonderchicken: The fact that we can do it on the internet, here where we interact in text, doesn't make it any less ignoble than sticking our fingers in our ears like the 7-year-old who doesn't want hear that he has to go to bed.

A more apt analogy would be meeting a complete stranger at a party, who talks your ear off for half an hour about his conspiracy theories about how the Rockefeller/Freemason alliance plants stories in the New York Post, or ogles your bosom (if you are female) or does any one of a million annoying things that inspire you to make a polite excuse and walk away.

Rejecting people and limiting your dealings with them are big features of real-world social life. Why should this be any different?

It is wrong and lazy, because if you really care about the things you say, you remain undaunted by the kooks and loons and shouters, and by people who get all up in your face mostly because they're just having a bad day.

I remain undaunted. I just don't want to waste any more of my time on them. After the first bad impression, the second bad impression, the third through fiftieth bad impression . . . I'm supposed to stick around in the hope that they might have a halfway interesting or insightful thing to say? No. Sorry. I decline. Life's too short.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:00 PM on February 13, 2009


From "Five Geek Social Fallacies"
Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil

GSF1 is one of the most common fallacies, and one of the most deeply held. Many geeks have had horrible, humiliating, and formative experiences with ostracism, and the notion of being on the other side of the transaction is repugnant to them.

In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the prospective excludee may be.

As a result, nearly every geek social group of significant size has at least one member that 80% of the members hate, and the remaining 20% merely tolerate. If GSF1 exists in sufficient concentration -- and it usually does -- it is impossible to expel a person who actively detracts from every social event. GSF1 protocol permits you not to invite someone you don't like to a given event, but if someone spills the beans and our hypothetical Cat Piss Man invites himself, there is no recourse. You must put up with him, or you will be an Evil Ostracizer and might as well go out for the football team.

This phenomenon has a number of unpleasant consequences. For one thing, it actively hinders the wider acceptance of geek-related activities: I don't know that RPGs and comics would be more popular if there were fewer trolls who smell of cheese hassling the new blood, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt. For another, when nothing smacking of social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably begin to organize activities in secret. These conspiracies often lead to more problems down the line, and the end result is as juvenile as anything a seventh-grader ever dreamed of.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:16 PM on February 13, 2009


I have seen shades of that in a couple of social situations before, jp, but that is miles from my thinking on killfiles and I'd bet stavros would say the same.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 PM on February 13, 2009


I agree fully with stavrosthewonderchicken on this one this morning. Then I noticed a thread with a huge derail in it tonight and now I'm wishing for some killfiling.
posted by P.o.B. at 8:24 PM on February 13, 2009


However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the prospective excludee may be.

Just for the record, we ban people here all the time.

As a matter of policy we don't want killfiles particularly because of the one-sided nature of them. Sure in real life you can ignore whoever you want, but that act of ignoring is visible to the outside world, it becomes part of the social fabric. That casts a certain light on both the ignored and the ignorer that change the way the social system operates. A killfile is basically someone deciding not to see someone else, secretly. Again it's your choice on a personal level but it's not something we want built in here. I will refer you again to cortex's chart.

For another, when nothing smacking of social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably begin to organize activities in secret.

Ah yes because us saying we don't want to have killfiles at a user-tool level is the same as saying no one can talk about them?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:31 PM on February 13, 2009


As a matter of policy we don't want killfiles particularly because of the one-sided nature of them . . . Again it's your choice on a personal level but it's not something we want built in here.

Fair enough. I'm happy to use Greasemonkey to do what I need on that level. It works. If user-tool level killfiling seems inconsistent with your ideals of the community, I respect that.

But I think you're reading that quote too literally.

The point of quoting that is that I believe that talk of exclusion, of rejection, pushes a lot of geeky people's buttons. And that explains some of the vitriol in this thread.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:43 PM on February 13, 2009


I'm not sure how killfiling is, viewed externally, any different from not reading what a given poster says, not responding to it if you happen to glance past it, and otherwise willfully pretending they do not exist, and doing so on an ongoing basis. Killfiling is merely a technological implementation of something previously done with some mental partitioning and willpower. Properly done, one is indistinguishable from the other, for everyone who isn't the person doing the killfiling/ignoring.

With that in mind, I don't see how one is objectionable when the other is not.

It isn't sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "nyah-nyah-nyah, I can't HEAR you." That would require, after every comment from someone I didn't care to hear from, posting a comment saying, "Dude, I have so totally ignored you, somewhere in an alternate universe, Winston Smith is looking for your file on his desk and wondering how it suddenly vanished." It's not even pointedly crossing the street when I see you coming. It's just being at a party and somehow managing not to be in the same huddle of folks at the same time — that's all. The former is juvenile; the latter is merely an adult way to manage social interactions in a group where not all relations are positive.

And, really, I wouldn't necessarily put someone in a killfile because they're "anti-community." Disruptive folks tend to get sorted out fairly quickly, in one fashion or another. I tend to ignore someone because I know that our mutual interactions will be almost always to nobody's benefit and that, while I'm sure it could be changed or agreement might be had on some level, I know I wasn't put here to save or redeem everyone, that I'm not going to be everyone's friend, that I might conceivably have a better use for my time, and that all three of those relations apply from them to me as much as it does from me to them.

I don't think that the site has any policies requiring that for every n people who might comment in a given post, we have n2 - n interactions between them. And since we're not doing the "everything is not mandatory is forbidden" bit, just "not interacting" seems reasonable to me. That it's accomplished in an automated fashion seems to be merely a distraction.
posted by adipocere at 9:25 PM on February 13, 2009


Please add me to your kill file.
posted by nola at 9:53 PM on February 13, 2009


When I discover that someone has kill-filed me I post them my comments instead, written out by hand in various colours of crayon on old cigarette packets. The Truth about the lizard-people is really that important.
posted by Abiezer at 12:41 AM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


My comments offend and irritate you, and you would like to unsubscribe from my newsletter.
posted by blasdelf at 2:50 AM on February 14, 2009


I'd be more interested in a reverse killfile. That way I wouldn't have to read the comments of people who use killfiles.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:04 AM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]



I'd be more interested in a reverse killfile. That way I wouldn't have to read the comments of people who use killfiles.


Dude, I thought we were bros, bro.

I don't get the hate here. I'm not going to name anyone, but if I told you whose posts I filter, most of you would probably agree that they're people whose posts you usually skip over and ignore anyway. Serial thread-shitters and trolls. There are maybe 5 people in there, and half of them have been banned or driven off or gotten bored with trolling anyway. It's not a cowardly mechanism to silence people who disagree with you, it's just a more convenient method of skipping over noise.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:45 AM on February 14, 2009


Dude, I thought we were bros, bro.

No worries, I'm not being too serious. But it would be an interesting twist on an old idea.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 AM on February 14, 2009


I think quietly avoiding the bore at the party is the right metaphor.
There seems to be a pattern here: every now and then, there will be a new user who shows up and gets very excited about being part of a community and makes a big old fuss, trying to get everyone to pay attention to them. They post too much and talk too much and get into MeTa fights trying to tell everyone what to do and generally act like asses out of a desperate need for attention. These people set my teeth on edge.
Then there's that dumbass who casually insulted me that one time (fuck that guy!), and the toxically self involved one who answers every question with some sort of tedious personal anecdote, relevant or not.
At a cocktail party, I would discreetly stay clear of these people.
Here, I just ignore them, quashing all the bitchy responses that come to mind. Which is often many.
It would be so much less tiresome for me, and no one would know, if I just never saw them acting out in the first place. Why is that so wrong?

I agree that killfiling people just because you don't agree with them is childish and ultimately a community threat, but that's not what I'm looking to do.
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:46 AM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just don't want to waste any more of my time on them. After the first bad impression, the second bad impression, the third through fiftieth bad impression . . . I'm supposed to stick around in the hope that they might have a halfway interesting or insightful thing to say? No. Sorry. I decline. Life's too short.
No, you're supposed to tell them to stop. By everyone just ignoring them, those who are socially inept never learn better manners.

Killfiles will only work when a small minority of people use them. There would be a point where conversations start to take place across one another, with the parties to each conversation unaware of other conversations taking place in the same space. So, killfiles are not necessarily bad when used as they currently are here, they are bad in principle because widespread adoption would be bad for the community.
posted by dg at 2:45 PM on February 14, 2009


No, you're supposed to tell them to stop. By everyone just ignoring them, those who are socially inept never learn better manners.

I'm not talking about social ineptitude. I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. I don't have a problem helping out the socially awkward. Hell, I am one myself. I'm happy to help out people who mean well but don't always know how to do well.

What I'm talking about here is assholishness, mental illness, attention whoring, malicious thread-shitting, boring me to fucking tears with the same tired rhetoric over and over again. I'm talking about personality and character. Bad personality isn't as amenable to change as social awkwardness and so, I have decided not to waste time and energy trying to fix it. Maybe if I were a better person, I'd devote more effort to that. But I'm not that better person. I'm just myself and that's how I've decided to spend my time here.

There would be a point where conversations start to take place across one another, with the parties to each conversation unaware of other conversations taking place in the same space.

Oh, we reached that point a long time ago. People already informally filter out certain groups of users and ignore what they have to say.

That said, I agree with you. If MetaFilter implemented a user-friendly "block this user" function, people wouldn't use it judiciously.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:33 PM on February 14, 2009


Okay so I'm loving the greasemonkey script. I don't see the people who annoy me anymore - just blank spaces, usually in the first four comments of a thread. It makes Mefi so much more enjoyable.
The only problem is that it really messes up the "recent activity" tab by blanking out everything if one of my now-invisible irritants has commented recently. Any way around this?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2009


You can exclude any page from script processing by using the @exclude rule in the header. For the recent activity page, that would mean adding:

// @exclude http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/activity/

to the header block at the beginning of the script file, right after the // @include rule(s).

If you don't want to edit a script you can do it dynamically by selecting Tools/Greasemonkey/Manage User Scripts from the browser pulldown. Click to highlight the proper script name in the box at the left which lists scripts, probably only the one script name if that's all you use. Find the "Excluded Pages" box in the lower right and click Add. Put in http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/activity/ for the page to exclude.

If you want the recent activity page to still block the poster but not other users, you need to say which of the three or four kill-filing scripts you use. Circumstances (and support triggers) would differ.
posted by mdevore at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2009


Cool - I used the second technique (the first was sort of baffling to me, I'm not very savvy about such things.)
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:11 PM on March 4, 2009


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