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There are some people that I don't want to use this web site with. I don't want to see their questions, answers, comments and I don't want to let them comment or answer my questions. This doesn't have to mean that this users are bad users. Can I block them? If yes, how?

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  • $\begingroup$ There is some discussion of this with this question. In one of the answers, a GreaseMonkey script is mentioned. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Aug 13 '13 at 20:17
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    $\begingroup$ You've been a member for 19 days. I'm curious how you've managed to get several "bad people" on your list already. $\endgroup$ – mrf Aug 13 '13 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ He raises a valid question: what kinds of users have you come across that you don't want to see their questions, answers, or comments? I really don't think there's any kinds of users worth "blocking" that can't be handled by simply thumbing down (which you have the reputation to do) or flagging, but I could be wrong. $\endgroup$ – Ataraxia Aug 13 '13 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ I think certain sentiments of this blog post by Jeff Atwood (the man behind SE) is relevant. To quote, mostly out of context, "(As an aside, if you’re regularly pissing off a lot of other users, consider taking part of our FAQ to heart: be nice! We’re all here to learn from and share with each other. This is in no way an excuse for bad behavior, of course, but realize that people tend to respond in kind. When in doubt, always treat people with the same respect and decorum you’d want them to treat you. Even if they don’t deserve it.)" $\endgroup$ – user1729 Aug 13 '13 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for comments. It was interesting to see how my question's vote switch to -2 from 3 after my comment :). $\endgroup$ – Konformist Liberal Aug 13 '13 at 21:06
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I don't know if there is an "ignore user X" feature, but if there isn't, it seems like something that could be done by a script running in the (ignoring) user's browser, that does a text replacement on unwanted usernames when displaying the page.

[Edit: a Greasemonkey Ignore Users Script has been on Meta.Stackoverflow since July 2009 ]

I don't want to let them comment or answer my questions

Chances of this ever being possible are zero. It would be a huge change to the site model.

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  • $\begingroup$ Added the link derived from @robjohn 's hint. $\endgroup$ – zyx Aug 13 '13 at 20:30
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It is very much intentional that you can't ignore specific users. While I understand that is might be useful in some cases, such a feature would be harmful to the site at large.

Ignoring a user doesn't solve any problems, it is just a fancy way of looking away or sticking your head into the sand. The behaviour that leads you to ignore that user won't go away, you just won't see it anymore.

Now, if the user is behaving according to the rules and the reason you want to ignore him is because you disagree with him, then this is a case that should not be supported by the software. Being challenged by people with different opinions is a good thing, and SE should not enable users to hide feedback.

If a user is disruptive or abusive, ignoring that user won't solve the problem. He'll still abuse other users and looking away is counterproductive. Flag the abusive behaviour for moderator attention and the user will be dealt with.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you are right, thanks. $\endgroup$ – Konformist Liberal Aug 13 '13 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ A script to ignore certain types of comments could be very useful. Many people who are not the askers of questions will not find it useful to receive the information that some user threw a What Have You Tried (Is This Homework?) comment at another, and more beneficial to place all that stuff on auto-ignore. $\endgroup$ – zyx Aug 13 '13 at 21:51
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    $\begingroup$ @zyx: putting aside whether such a function should be available, trying to code such a function would be a nightmare! Can you imagine the user complaints for false positives or false negatives in the matching? Software is great with pattern matching, but I don't think artificial intelligence has come far enough to reliably read the "intent" behind a comment, when the same comment can be phrased in many different ways. (Maybe if SE buys a license to Watson...) $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Aug 14 '13 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ @WillieWong, yeah, but there is no need to solve the AI problem or detect intent, because there is no need to be right. A script could display any message satisfying its criteria as blacked- or whited-out text and let the user click or hover to override that and reveal the contents. On SE a user following an @ notice would see that blanked comments are directed to them, or the script could display anything with specified atsign-username combinations, such as messages to the operating user, that it would normally block. Doesn't sound like rocket science, but I haven't programmed one. $\endgroup$ – zyx Aug 24 '13 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ @zyx: I refer you to the continuous battle between spam-filters and spam-senders to see why a simplistic pattern matching will not work to cure a social phenomenon. I predict that for simple blocks like what you are describing, within weeks someone will post a comment template that is specifically designed to get around your proposed detection system. See also previous Meta discussions on the quality filter and on how to abuse MathJax to get around certain posting restrictions. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Aug 26 '13 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ The claim was that a social phenomenon can be reduced (in visibility, to those who want to not see it), not cured. Many users will post, for example, "what have you tried" comments not with a spammer-like determination to make sure others can definitely see their comments, but just as the simplest expression of what they wanted to say, and a browser-side filter can limit some of that. You're right, it would need a solution of the AI problem and more to never see it, but this is like asking the quality filter to detect smart questions: it's much more than intended. @Will $\endgroup$ – zyx Aug 26 '13 at 17:25

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