The commenting platform Disqus, which we use here on Patheos, has never offered a way for readers to block or hide other commenters. Thanks to Friendly Atheist regular Doug105, however, I found out that there’s a third-party browser extension called Blog Comment Killfile that neatly accomplishes what Disqus never bothered to deliver.
If this sounds like it’s up your alley, go here if you use Firefox and here if you you use Chrome (there may be similar solutions for other browsers; please share in the comments if you know of any). Run the downloaded file and confirm that you want to install the software. Then restart your browser and go view some Disqus comments. You’ll see that now, when you mouse over a commenter’s screen name, there’s a pop-up option that lets you hide only that particular comment, or all that person’s current and future comments.
It doesn’t automatically work across multiple computers, even if you’re logged into Disqus on all of them. As far as I can tell, you’ll need to install Killfile on every computer you use (takes about a minute tops) and, on each machine, block the commenters who drive you batty. Not a big deal.
I’ve been using Killfile since Monday, and have blocked two persistent pests, one obvious troll, and a few spammers.
At the risk of sounding like a Stanley Milgram subject, it’s actually kind of satisfying to push the button and zap people into Disqus oblivion. A measure of new-found peace pervades casa Firma.
I hope people won’t use Killfile to build an echo chamber, cutting off commenters with differing opinions left and right. But the software is a great tool to virtually eliminate creeps and tormenters and (redundancy alert) spammers. Enjoy.