Troll-Stomping and Other Sensible Things: #WordPress Plug-In Beta Test/Preview

Comment Author Area with Ignore, Highlight Commenter, Highlight Comment, Comments This Thread, and Commenter Archive Buttons

Tis a frequent though by no means widely indulged ask from commenters, especially when a request to ban or at least warn some annoying other-commenter has been rejected. Why can’t we have an “ignore” button? Usually, the answer is, “We can’t because we can’t: Putting someone on ignore is an old-fashioned chat-room or forum thing, or maybe a Twitter blocking or muting thing – we’re just a blog!”

Yet it occurred to me the other day or week that it wouldn’t be hard to create a jQuery-enabled ignore button, and it wouldn’t be too hard to add cookies to make the ignoring persistent, and it wouldn’t be too hard to un-ignore, too. While I was at it, and feeling that enabling ignore was kind of negative, how about making it possible to highlight commenters using about the same methods used to ignore them, or particular comments, so they’re easy to pick out in a thread?

It didn’t take terribly much finagling to make ignore and highlight buttons, and I’ve already reserved a place in the WordPress Repository for the pair of plugins. For the purposes of this blog, I’ve combined them with new versions of the Comments-This-Thread and Commenter-Archive buttons I’ve had here for a while (and recently, embarrassingly, discovered I’d mis-implemented – a full-fledged Commenter Archives plug-in will be a project for another day).

I think how to use the features will become fairly obvious, though, be warned, they may work imperfectly or not at all if you’re using some weird old browser or have cookies disabled. Also, don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings or encouraging the wrong kind of comment: Just in case it’s not clear, your ignores and highlights are visible only to you or maybe someone looking over your shoulder (or using your machine-browser). By the same token, the highlights and ignores are NOT transferable, though later on I may make such enhancements available to registered users.

So, please feel free to check the buttons out and give me feedback on this thread, or give an opinion on anything else you’d like to give an opinion on, and the rest of us can see about highlighting or ignoring it. Feel free to try them out on any other comment thread, for that matter. I know they’re kind of small, but, since they appear everywhere, I thought going large would be obtrusive, but tell me if you find them impractical. (I’m assuming someone will show up to play.)

Lanced Infinity

For the record, it should go like this:

1 – Hover over a button:


2 – Ignore bob (actually, that’s the red button – which changes to green when it becomes an “un-ignore” button):



3 – No… un-ignore and highlight bob:


4 – Wait, no – let’s just highlight bob’s comment.


5 – No we like bob in general and like this comment especially:


6 – We just have a lot of thoughts and feelings about that there comment:


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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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By CK MacLeod

Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 


  1. Unordered thoughts:
    1. This seems like a useful thing.
    2. Does an “X” icon really make sense? It kind of makes sense perhaps for ignore, but I don’t think it makes sense for highlighting the commenter or the comment, even if the X is a different color. I would probably use an audio “mute” button instead of the X for ignore. For highlight comment, I might choose a star. For highlighting the comment, I might use something like this:
    3. It seems to me like the tool tip takes a while to come up. Is there a delay built in, or is that my browser?
    4. Looking at the collection of buttons on the right hand side now, it seems to me like their organization needs to be reconsidered. Currently, there are five. It seems to me like the top row should be commenter-level functions while the second row should be comment-level functions. So, the top row should have (1) ignoring the commenter, (2) highlighting the commenter, (4) seeing the commenter’s archive. The second row should have highlighting the comment. The remaining icon for seeing the commenter’s comments on the the current thread could perhaps go in either one as prescribed by aesthetics.

    Of course, perhaps this is difficult. From a plugin perspective, it might be nice to have the icons related to a certain plugin all grouped together.

    (Just to clarify, this seems awesome. The above doesn’t subtract anything from that.)

    1. Hey VB – thanks for that.

      I agree with your suggestion on alternative designs for the two kinds of highlight buttons – even a yellow box with a blue outline for comment-highlight, white box with blue outline and yellow shading, in other words imitating the current highlightification effects, might work. I also like the button you recommend – but I think I’d want it for a true “follow-this-commenter” function, somewhat as intended by the designer.

      Part of my thinking also, and a reason I went with place-holders for now, is that eventually I’ll have it in customizable form, inviting those inclined (among site operators, not among commenters) to substitute their own highlighting and button styles. Still, the initial release should be “excellent-as-is,” if possible, so I’ll work on that.

      Also occurred to me that I could add a sixth button, for “go to highlighted comments,” similar to the one at OT for scrolling through comments-since-last-visit.

      The delayed tool-tip sounds like it could be a browser artifact – anyway wasn’t intended. It’s just the normal “hover.” Anyway, should be insignificant once a user gets hip to what the buttons do.

      Don’t agree with you on the re-arrangement suggestion, but I’ll reflect on possibly more natural ones, and I appreciate your willingness to get down to the granular level. To me, the two archive functions belong together. I put comment-highlight at the top right, because it struck me as likely the one to be used most often, or the one I would use most often. The ignore/in-ignore button would, presumably, be used most infrequently, even if it’s the function possibly most desperately desired at some blogs.

      Anyway – thanks again for the detailed input.

      1. I can see how button design might be the less interesting part of this problem.

        >add a sixth button, for “go to highlighted comments,

        Hmm, not sure I’m a fan of that yet. Maybe that’s because I continue to use the OT arrows you implemented. I guess any given site could implement either this type of arrows to go among highlighted comments or the other style arrows to visit new comments. Given that there is already highlighting that seems to work well, I don’t know that it’s needed. But I guess neither does that mean you can’t offer it if someone wants to implement it

        1. Thanks again for the input, VB. I’ve adjusted the highlight button images, and have added a third state to make the “un-highlight” versions (and also the un-ignore button) more immediately obvious.

          I think that the “Go to Highlighted Comments” (or show Highlighted only, etc.) won’t be a sixth button, but possibly either one or both of the two Comments Since Last Visit initiator types: buttons at top and bottom of thread with go-to and/or show-only options; or clicker that appears next to highlighted comments.

          Eventually, I’ll want everything – including State of the Discussion, Extraordinary Comments, Nested Comments Unbound, Comments Since Last Visit, as well as Commenter Archives and more fab novelties in development – to fit modularly into a “Commentariat Suite,” including differentiated options for visitors vs registered users vs users-at-different-role-levels, but I think this might be an adequate start or close to it for the “free” versions of Commenter Ignore and Commenter Highlight.

          Can’t emphasize enough how helpful it has to have at least one thoughtful feedbacker as part of the pre-development process. (Some of the others seem confused about why I tweeted them!) So, more thanks…

          1. added a third state to make the “un-highlight” versions (and also the un-ignore button) more immediately obvious

            Yes, this seems good.

            The highlight buttons also make some sense to me.

            The X does seem Ok to me, but I just want to show the sort of mute button I was referring to previously:

            By the way, is there some reason I’m not getting e-mails for this thread?

            1. Hmm – I like the mute button, but I wonder if people are used to having them reflect current state (more typical for on-line or computer desktop audio controlsy) rather than “button action.” The red “x” seemed to me more suggestive of “delete this” and therefore for “positive action to negate.”

              As for the emails: Dunno – you’re signed up to receive all replies at a certain gmail account (I’m refraining from giving it out here). Could be you need to change the account, or your spam filter settings…

Commenter Ignore Button by CK's Plug-Ins

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