My idea is to combine the current ignore system, some of the suggestions from the above-linked thread, and a (slightly inside-out) variant of Hellbanning in order to have a more powerful system.
This system aims to accomplish the following goals:
- Prevent consistently disruptive users from behaving as such
- Permit users who see the error of their ways to redeem themselves
- Provide social cues to encourage problem users to behave better
- Prevent problem users from gaming the system
- A consistently disruptive user is still disruptive to new users until they learn that the disruptive user needs ignored.
- Once ignored, the user is completely invisible unless the ignoring user takes manual action, even if their behavior has improved.
- A user only knows they have been ignored at all if they are told so, which removes anonymity from the person ignoring them. This reduces the number of cues that they should clean up their act short of moderators becoming involved.
- Fortunately, however, problem users are unable to game the system.
- To provide social cues, have a leaderboard of 'who is ignored the most' - this preserves anonymity on the part of the person who is choosing to ignore the problem poster, while alerting the worst offenders that they are, in fact, the worst offenders.
- To reduce the impact of disruptive users, upon reaching a certain threshold of ignores (set by site admin), they are added to the 'negaverse'. The negaverse is basically a mirror image of the ignore system - people outside the negaverse ignore you by default, but they may 'peer in' for certain users they find interesting. To prevent gaming the system, those residing in the negaverse may not ignore other users (to prevent them from dragging people down with them). This was inspired by hellbanning.
- To allow users to redeem themselves, also keep a leaderboard of 'fascinations from the negaverse' who are peered in on the most, and those who meet a threshold on that list are returned to normal. This provides another social cue - show people you're getting better. Another benefit is that it may lead to more people peering in on them, getting them redeemed faster. To prevent gaming the system, residents of the negaverse cannot peer in on other users (to prevent a group of problem users from 'bootstrapping' themselves out). This is how the hellbanning is slightly "inside-out" - traditionally, hellbanning is invisible to the hellbanned user, whereas here I attempt to instead use it as an engine for improvement rather than just sequestering them.
- As a mechanical concern (to prevent someone from topping both lists) upon entering the negaverse, all ignores for that user are reset. On leaving the negaverse, anybody peering in on them is reset in the same manner.