[Suggestion] A more graduated ignore system


Recommended reading (Don't worry, it's not much):

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
The current system has some shortcomings on several of these fronts:
  • 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 address these, I suggest the following:
  • 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.
I appreciate feedback, and if anyone has suggestions for improvement I would like to hear them.


Active member
Hellbanning would fit perfectly in the ignore system. It would really help us catch users that are in the grey zone with sending abusive links in PM's, creating new accounts from proxy servers, etc. Just let them continue their poor behavior, you get all kinds of data on them, and no one in your forums are bothered.

This is perfect for cases where discouragement isn't quite the right solution.


XenForo moderator
Staff member
Would require a lot of work to make this work with XenForo though...

All the "last post by", alerts for comments and quote and likes etc and other clever stuff would all need to be changed to erase them out.

A pretty big task...


Heh, I just realized an unintended (but beneficial) consequence of the system I described. Since people in the Negaverse can't ignore people, they have to deal with the other people in the Negaverse (mimicing the 'particularly cruel' variant from the CodingHorror post). My original intent for making them unable to ignore people was just to prevent abuse.


Slavik: I was just thinking about this, and I'm wondering if it might not be quite that complex - after all, being in the negaverse is (mechanically) intended to be identical to being ignored, just 'on by default'. Could it be implemented by making whatever function checks 'are they ignored' also check '...or in the negaverse but not peered in on'?


Well-known member
This would be very useful, users change IP and continue registering, if they are discouraged they can create another account.