Four years of BBS

Block User Feature
Having been a part of the previous “block user” discussions, and familiar with the issues such systems can cause, like the conversation chain, context, invisible discussions.

i’ve been giving this some thought…

What if instead of Block User, there was a “Hush” feature where when you flag a user as “hushed” you can still see if they comment or are quoted but their content is collapsed and greyed out, but can be expanded if one chooses, similar to flagged posts.

This allows for users to read and get context when needed, and be aware of comments and quotes, without having it in their face.

Also would block direct PMs between those users.

Does that make sense? Just a thought, better then dissapearing them altogether, but also keeping them out of your face.

Comment Flow Master View
I’d love a view where you can see all comments in one spot as they come in, with links to their respective threads, so you can park on that page and see all new conversations as they come in, and like them or pop over to the thread to reply or comment. Kinda a hybrid of the main page and thread view for us bbs lurkers.

I think that Discourse is one of the best forums style software for community building.
#Congratulations on hitting the 4yr mark.


Beyond all @nimelennar 's excellent comments on this, when a number of experienced users are pointing out the same thing, there might well be a real issue.


Yes! This is exactly it!


Well, it’d still be mute, just an enhanced and time/topic/category-boxed mute, but I definitely envisioned something like what you’re describing.

We already collapse deleted posts (only staff can see these, though) so the code more or less exists. You can get a sense of it by going to the first post on any topic with >= 50 posts and pressing the “summarize topic” button. Same basic behavior. See how posts get collapsed?

Like that.


Having been a moderator of a large forum myself I’ll say it’s not complex, it just requires a greater commitment to the users.




A few sentences per violation is good for a community that self polices well, but that is a recipe for volunteer moderator burnout in the medium large forum I work with. If they want to take the time to send me a message to clarify what happen I will be happy to answer, but otherwise it is pretty time consuming. Having a function that gives you some check boxes to just pick which of the common garden variety rules violations when you mod delete can go a long way to make this easier.


Besides that (from my experience modding/adminning) generally a user outright offended that they’ve been flagged doesn’t use that information for self-betterment, just to continue ruleslawyering and yelling about “the other gal/guy”, whatever true lawbreaker in this interaction.

Edit: I don’t think it’s always a terrible idea, but it’s not going to solve personal problems with “moderator bias” in a different way than sending a PM to the moderator in question.


Doubly so when the person being given a time out is a regular member who is recognizable to other regular users.


Well, all the regulars we deal with have pretty open lines of communication with at least one moderator or admin because they somehow have an affinity with that person or are their personal antagonist or know their history well. I’m not sure if that just isn’t happening here, but would suggest any users who don’t understand why they are being moderated to send a private message to any admin or mod and discuss things. 1:1 discussions just seem to be way more productive for me.

It can be pretty difficult to discuss things in public because of teh “ruleslawyering” referenced above. Moderation usually involves a lot of judgement in interperting tone and intent. Discussing it in public just invites a lot of dogpiling.

But suggesting that because you are a regular or super regular that you should get an extra message - no, I wouldn’t do that. Hopefully if you are that regular you understand what happened and can roll with it or bring it up for discussion. When I type something up, it is usually a post to tell the participants to all get back on track and to let them know I am watching so they will hopefully self limit their shenanigans…The people who I am most likely to send a message to are those who are NEW and are obviously running against the grain of the culture somehow and don’t seem to understand why they are generating annoyance from other users…at least after I check to see if they are a troll or duplicate account…


Really? I mean, I don’t… at least I don’t think I do. I never PM with any of the mods or the admins, and only sometimes talk to them in the comments. If there is some special in for regulars who get to be all cozy with the powers that be here, I’m certainly not part of that group. I’m a regular because I spend way too much time here, posting, liking, commenting (sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes not). I read the front page, read the comments, and get to know other posters. I didn’t get an in because I know anyone who runs the site personally.

We’re talking about not being banned with no idea of why. I do think that everyone who gets banned, for ever or for a week, should get some sort of notice, because especially the people who spend lots of time here and are the core audience for the site.


From @rkt88edmo’s previous post, it sounds like they’re talking about the situation in another forum, where they are a moderator, not the situation here.


Ah! If I misunderstood, @rkt88edmo, my apologies!

I understand their point about moderators being busy and all. But maybe there can be a set of pre-programmed reasons for a short time out, that the individual being banned gets?

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Yes, I am talking about another forum where I am one of a dozen or so moderators. Different forums definitely have different cultures.

Getting banned with no idea why is not ok. All bans where I mod get some kind of message. When we are talking about “no message communicated” I was thinking along the lines of deleted posts/threads. All bans have at least a few words communicating to the person banned. I usually use a short quote from their offending post and sign it so they know it was me.

I definitely communicate with those banned especially if I see them headed there again. I also like progressively longer ban periods for repeat offenders.

The only special knowledge I have of boingboing bbs is that sometimes I am a space moose.


A suspension message is required in Discourse for all suspensions, and shows on the user’s profile for all to see. Not sure why you weren’t seeing it @Mindysan33 since it’s been there since the feature was created.


Aren’t we all the space meeses sometimes.


I was speaking to what @enso said, about getting something more concrete and specific for a ban. It sounds like one just is logged out? Sometimes the one liners on the person’s profile page seem kind of vague for the reason.


You’re just logged out. When you try to log in, it fails and the “error” or “explanation” message will tell you’re banned, how long you’re banned, and a one line (I assume) reason why. I’ve only banned twice, I think (only once for a longer period) so I’m grasping here.

You can’t PM the mods because…you can’t log in to PM. You can send email to the default site address and hope someone replies, I guess. Likely as not, if you’re banned, no one is going to reply and reverse it (obviously an opinion). As a number of people have said, the witty explanations of “why” leave a bit to be desired and their is no mechanism to appeal or even contact staff to ask for details.


Sure, but you can go to your profile page without logging in, correct? Which I think is @codinghorror’s point.

But I do agree that some sort of explanation before being logged out should be there (or as you’re logged out, or whatever).

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It shows the same message, per @codinghorror. Like the “pedantic != funny” that one person complained about above as their explanation.

The system has my email address. It notifies me of replies. It would be nice if the system notified a user when they’re banned (other than coming to the site and seeing you’re logged out), with a reason and a way to contact if one has questions.