Please don't engage people after they've asked you not to

Admin note.

It’s OK to post in any thread, but please don’t @reply to people who have asked you not to or otherwise engage them personally. It’s hostile and unpleasant.


Seriously? So if somebody demands I don’t reply to them and then they post an idea I strongly disagree with, I am not allowed to react to it?

Or do I just sub-tweet them and that makes the problem go away?


Just be a goddamn grownup and address the subject matter without @replying to them personally or talking at them.


That’s an extremely grownup behavior indeed…


Does this rule apply to sockpuppets too? So if account A says don’t reply to me you are supposed to know not to reply to account B?

To be honest I would have difficulty remembering who I have exchanged messages with from day to day. I don’t keep a list of accounts to avoid.

1 Like

I wouldn’t sweat it. Everyone gets plenty of chances when it comes to this sort of thing, mistakes happen, and there’s been no need to ban anyone or request a Twitter-style blocking feature. Once a mod request has come your way, knock it off. Easy!


IMO it’s just basic politeness to respect someone’s wish to avoid interaction.


I’m sure it’s not a big deal, but if someone asks you not to address them you can just add them to the Muting script (and ask them to do the same). You can’t respond to someone you can’t see.


So this isn’t really a forum for interaction. More like a place where you nod along with people you agree with while erasing those which hold different opinions.

You can’t be bothered by something you can’t see.


Out of the hundreds of people who comment here and the thousands of lurkers with diverse opinions, there are a grand total of three people (also of varying outlook) who made my Mute list for being no-value-added trolls who derail threads. Although I’m considering making it four.


It’s really not that difficult; there are always plenty of other people to talk to.


It may be the difference between a happy mutant and an unhappy mutant. YMMV.


I get your frustration. Might I suggest that a frame of “presenting adjacent narratives/texts” allows you to add your values and insights to the general discourse without singling out/directly engaging with someone who doesn’t want one-on-one interaction? Just a thought.


This whole thing started because I unwittingly replied to a sock puppet account of someone who told me not to engage them. Then I was berated for being dense and told to fuck off. And then the person telling me to fuck off started gloating about grownup behavior. And I’m not allowed to reply to them. So I am rather frustrated indeed.

I don’t see a forum discussion as a one-on-one interaction and the whole workaround of replying to someone but-not-really-replying because I must treat their username like they are Voldemort strikes me as extremely childish.

EDIT: If this is OT enough to get flagged, so is almost every post starting from Admin note above.


Not to mention Moose and Squirrelly.


Some Moose are more equal than other Moose. Welcome to BoingBoing, as some are more fond of saying, than others, Comrade.


The “I’m not being childish, you are” game seems rather childish.


I think it’s a fair concession to make. BUT - those who decline engagement from a person I think need to have the self-discipline to not make reference to that person in every other topic, advise new posters not to engage with them, etc. Criticizing a person openly in a group environment while refusing to engage them personally seems IMO impolite at best, and passive-aggressively manipulative at worst.

For example, I think a person has a valid criticism if somebody denies out of hand opinions or accounts they were trying to relate in a discussion. But they don’t have a valid criticism if they were not even participating in a conversation, but pop in only to complain about those who are already discussing the matter, that the tone and/or content don’t meet their criteria. That would be an exclusive attitude.

I think that the community guidelines are more ideal, in making engagement, agreement/disagreement about the issues - the content of discussion itself - rather than personal differences. Catering to personal differences I think encourages exclusivity, cliqueishness, and a generally less-mature type of discourse. The whole “I personally dislike your opinions about societal issues” schtick really just seems like a rhetorical dishonest device to de-platform those outside of a given group.

IMO a sociable attitude encourages more, rather than less, topical engagement. And a greater variety of perspectives.


i’m not sure i understand your reasoning. are you saying that you are incapable of reacting without @ mentioning them? is it impossible for you to make a refutation or a contrary comment without naming them directly? in real life, are you in the habit of continuing to talk directly to someone who has asked you to stop talking to them? you seem to be making this much harder than it actually is.


Are you trying to create a strawman here?

As I recall, Every request for non-interaction I’ve seen in my tenure here started because two members stopped arguing points and started taking pot-shots at each other. The conversation had already devolved beyond any sort or reasonable discourse at that point.

If one of the parties realized this and steps away, and asks the other user to do the same, then do it. The alternative is to keep bickering, get the mods involved, and in the longterm possibly be asked not to return.

I think there are less than ten of these “requests for non-interaction” floating around out of our large and vast usebase, representing a very small number of the 3.5k posts a week or so we see here. It affects few enough people as to essentially be a rounding error. It doesn’t, surely, define the interactions in this forum.

BBS is heavily moderated on purpose. We’re trying to encourage civil, intelligent discourse. I’ve yet to see those engaged in civil discussion ask to refrain from speaking to one another.

If you feel you are unable to get your points across in a way that doesn’t run afoul of the community guidelines or the basic tenants of civil discourse, and therefore may find yourself at the receiving end of many requests not to interact, then may I humbly suggest that this may not be the forum community you are looking for.