"Following" posts

I’ve been seeing this phenomenon recently on Facebook and I’ve seen it a number of times (by the same people) on my Discourse installation.

That is - someone commenting with just a post of:

That’s all. The idea being of course that they’ll now receive notifications of new posts because they commented.

The average person doesn’t realize that Facebook has a “Turn Notifications On” feature and Discourse has the “Watching” feature. Nor do they care. They just know that when they post something in the thread, they’ll get notifications from then on about the discussion.

Obviously to geeks like us :sunglasses: this is annoying. It clutters up the discussion.

What if Discourse had just a simple check that if someone posted “Following” as the post it turned on “Watching” for the user and didn’t show the post to everyone.

Perhaps a case of over-engineering, but something to consider. I’m curious if anyone else has seen this in your non-geek online circles?

P.S. I understand too that most people have a per-post character limit. Since my Discourse is paid-membership only, I remove that limitation. And it could be frustrating anyway if all someone knew was to just post “Following” but they couldn’t.

I’ve never, ever seen this behavior in the wild. Our notification control is quite prominently placed at the bottom of every topic, with a clearly labeled button and description, so perhaps it is more discoverable than the Facebook method.

You could try adding “Following” to the Admin -> Settings -> Posting censored words field

It might not stop them. but it would sure get their attention if their post showed as

Well, that’s better than


comments seen on imgur.

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