Do you remember Usenet back when it was useful and there was a genuine feeling of community? Do you remember how trolls were dealt with? Do you remember how when the system for handling these individuals broke and trolls were able to be present, it was still ok because you could add someone to your killfile and never see another post or comment from them again?
I’d like to propose that this is added to Lobste.rs, for the sake of the community. Lobste.rs is big enough that chinks in the armour are beginning to show, and it would be awesome to just silently blackhole those who spread negativity.
Just as niceness begets niceness, being able to ignore those who are bent on lowering the tone contributes to a cleaner, kinder community.
“In the physical world we have to deal with such people”, “learn to be tolerant” I hear you argue. But in the physical world we have rules and societal structure that has teeth. People are not welcome in certain environments for exhibiting behaviours deemed unpleasant, and it’s a lot harder to be a jerk when people point at your face and call you on it.
In the virtual world, it is possible to pretend these people don’t exist, or, more accurately, to make them not exist.