Before I mention anything about this user, let me clarify that the moderators/admins on the Discourse forum I use are very lenient. The forum is manual approval only (every member is handpicked from the parent site), and the staff have said that they want us to not feel shackled and to express our minds (i.e. profanity is allowed on the Discourse forum while it isn’t on the parent site). Unless someone is indisputably in the black, they won’t punish that person – people who tread the grey area on a regular basis are never dealt with. With that out of the way, onto the user:
This particular person is anti-change. Every time a new feature on the parent site or Discourse is released, he hates it from the get-go, and if the feature isn’t so wonderfully awesome that it’s impossible not to love it, he calls for it to be reverted. Even if a feature introduces good stuff and has one or a few downsides, he acts like it’s the worst thing in the world.
Discourse is a perfect example. Before our forum switched to Discourse, we were using Kunena. It was pretty outdated in terms of both functionality and appearances, so by far Discourse is astoundingly better. Someone posted a topic saying they had finally adjusted to Discourse and now saw it as a huge improvement from what we were using before, and this toxic person posts on the thread saying “Kunena was so much better. We don’t have Kunena spoiler tags, can’t edit the sizes of pictures, can’t change text size, and can’t change text color. Discourse also takes longer to load than Kunena and Discourse is terrible because it slides you around the page to advertise features.” We can create Kunena-like spoilers with
<details>, we can change image sizes with
<img> tags, can create headers by putting three dashes under text (not really any other reason to increase text size), and boo hoo no font color – all people did on Kunena with it was hide invisible white text and make important text red (which can be accomplished with bold / italics). Discourse does not slide you around every which way either – it only skips down to the latest unread post. He didn’t know about any of this because he shuts himself in his own anti-change box and refuses to try to figure out how to adjust, but what’s even worse is that he wanted us to revert to Kunena because “[he] shouldn’t have to look these things up”.
He does this on close to every thread regarding a feature, and there are absolutely 0 constructive posts to balance them out. The parent site is in the process of revamping year-old pages, and on every bloody topic announcing a new overhaul he complains that the old design is better, even if the new design hasn’t been displayed/created yet. He also finds ways to insult features on other threads if they’re even mentioned once. Someone had posted a topic suggesting a “Add to profile” button be added to one of the pages that was due for a rework, and I posted a conceptual design of the page (that I was working on to hone my web design skills – I don’t own the site and am not part of the redesign process) that had already included this “Add to profile” functionality and asked if that was what the OP meant. The toxic person in question then comes in and starts a rant of how the page shouldn’t be overhauled (even though he was well aware I’m not one of the parent company’s employees and that the concept I posted wasn’t official), and took his time to complain, again, about every single nook and cranny of what the parent site had changed in the past year. He literally complained about a couple pixel’s worth of padding too.
The staff won’t do anything about him. We could flag him as a community and get him booted from the site, but everyone’s probably thinking “oh someone else will flag his posts” or are afraid to flag his posts since he’s not breaking any rule other than “be respectful”. If I try to go around asking people “Hey let’s start flagging this guy’s bad posts to get rid of him”, I’ll seem like a minimod/tyrant/etc trying to control who’s able to access the site, and if I put it nicely, I’ll likely end up with the “oh someone else will help out flagging his posts” problem again. Even if we do start managing to get his posts hidden, he can just edit them and regain the trust points he lost. He may be anti-change, but he’s not outright stupid – I imagine he would be careful with his words in that one post so it wouldn’t get flagged again, but would go right back to his normal behavior with other posts. This is his way of thinking and his way of life, so it’s not something we can condition him out of. I guess we could condition him out of it, but it’s not worth it given the effort and time it would take for someone so rooted into that anti-change position. The best option for our community is just for him to not be a part of it.
How should the community stop or get rid of him since the staff won’t do anything about it? Do any of you have any similar experiences where a forum’s community managed to band together and get rid of a guy like this? How did the community manage to do it? This person is a serious bane to the forums, so something needs to be done about him.