8

There is a specific user on history.SE who, in my opinion, is a real detriment to the site. This user is rather active, posting comments and answers which I consider non-sensical at best, and downright offensively misguided at worst.

I found myself being rather annoyed by this user's contributions, to the point where I aggressively downvote / flag them on sight.

Which is bordering on stalking the user, something I'd rather not do, and spoils my enjoyment of history.SE.

Is there a way for me to "block" a user, so I won't see his comments and answers?

(Personally I think this user should be spoken to on general terms by some admin, but I know that's not the way StackExchange works...)

  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3353/… – T.E.D. Nov 4 '16 at 13:05
  • This attitude is perplexing. I've been using the internet, and usenet, net based text communication for over two decades. Never needed an 'ignore' function, so I wonder why anyone is unable to do what people did before the internet: consider the source. If an answer upsets you, step away for the keyboard for a bit and let go. – KorvinStarmast Nov 15 '16 at 4:15
  • @KorvinStarmast: The issue is one of consistently bad, off-topic, misguiding, or otherwise low-quality contributions. I feel this user is hurting history.SE. I know I cannot really do anything about it, so I would at least like to avoid that negative feeling whenever I read one of his contributions -- because it's at the point of driving me away from this site altogether. – DevSolar Nov 15 '16 at 8:36
  • If the appeal is to ban a user from this SE (which I think can be done by diamond mods) then I apologize for misunderstanding the problem. – KorvinStarmast Nov 15 '16 at 13:21
  • @KorvinStarmast: As I noted in the last line of my question, I was under the impression there is no way to "appeal to higher authorities" to such an end. -- I would not even want this user banned, I just think that he needs a refreshment of what history.SE is for, and that he isn't helping things given his track record. But that is a different matter. – DevSolar Nov 15 '16 at 13:30
  • 1
    On one of the other SE's where I participate at least one user has been suspended/banned for not keeping it civil. If the issue is low quality, the community modding of down votes and flags may suffice. As to getting a personal note from a diamond mod, I did once get such a communication at another stack. – KorvinStarmast Nov 15 '16 at 13:32
  • Actually if the matter is severe enough or the user is continuously breaching the guidelines, Admins can contact them via email. – NSNoob Nov 17 '16 at 8:15
7

There's a meta discussion about this exact issue you might want to look over. The basic digest seems to be that there isn't. A lot of people would like it, and a lot of people are dead-set against it as counter to the entire purpose of StackExchange. If you really insist, and happen to be a Firefox user, there is a Grease Monkey script for it.


In general I will say that we get at least our share of problem users. There is a process for dealing with them, the front end of which is driven by flags from users (associated downvotes and close votes help to drive home the point as well). If a user is consistently getting a lot of those for a specific type of action, they are supposed to get a warning from the moderators, and if they persist in the same behavior, a short suspension. Subsequent infractions for the same thing result in longer suspensions. We have at least one user who "tested" this process to such an extent that he is now suspended for more than a decade.

However, the root of this process is user flags. That means there may be a lot of time that passes, and a lot of flags raised, before a persistent problem user is supsended for a long period of time. The shorter suspensions before that, you might not even notice. This leads to a lot of user frustration, before the process finally reaches fruition (or the user decides to straighten up and fly right).

I would ask in the meantime, please try not to be vindictive about it. I try to stop to analyze every flag I process, and it takes me much more time to do so if the user is getting flagged capriciously for comments that wouldn't be a problem coming from anybody else. I do get that you are frustrated. Not because I'm some super empathetic person, but because you aren't the only one, and I get to read all the frustrated comments on flags, chat, and meta.

Try to remember this 2nd century quote from Sextus Empericus:

The millstones of the gods grind late, but they grind fine.

  • 4
    FYI: I am not "the gods" here; but I may be the millstone. – T.E.D. Nov 4 '16 at 13:43
  • 1
    I think that the number of flags you receive today will be daunting but not capricious. For what it is worth, we appreciate the effect that milling has on the millstone. – Mark C. Wallace Nov 8 '16 at 17:58
5

There is a difference between the users who post offensive or otherwise inappropriate things, and users which you dislike for some personal reasons. The posts of the first kind are usually flagged and the users banned by administrators. For example, there was a user who systematically posted Nazi/antisemitic propaganda. This user was banned, then re-appeared under a different name, banned again, and finally (I hope) disappeared. So if you repeatedly flag inappropriate posts, and administrators agree with you, the user will be banned. But if you dislike some user and do not think that administrators will agree with you, just don't read his/her posts.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .