Feature Added: Blacklists

Greetings everybody,

We have decided to release a new feature to all of our Gold Members today!

This is a feature we presented on February 12, 2009 as an upcoming new feature of ChristianBlog.Com!

Blacklist:

The feature is "Blacklisting", which as defined by Wikipedia as:

wikipedia:
A blacklist (or black list) is a list or register of persons who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.

Here at ChristianBlog.Com the blacklist will make it so that people that you choose to blacklist will have not any of their published content displayed on the ChristianBlog.Com home page.

In other words: When you add somebody to your blacklist any blog, prayer request, praise report, gallery entry, etcetera will never show up (for you) on the home page ChristianBlog.Com - once you have logged into ChristianBlog.Com.

An Example:

Let us say for example: I had gotten to a place where I so loathed the member greybear that I just had no desire to every see anything he had to say.

(personal note: greybear happens to be my longest and closest friend here at ChristianBlog.Com, so please do not think I loath him... I just needed somebody to use as an example and knew he would understand)

(personal note #2: in three years of running/owning ChristianBlog.Com I have never once loathed somebody nor had a desire to place anybody in a blacklist... and hopefully none of you do either, but I do realize the situation might arise and thus I created this feature for that exact situation.)

So, what I would do is go into my Blacklist Management page, and add greybear to my blacklist.

From then on anytime I visit my home page of ChristianBlog.Com NOTHING posted by Greybear would ever be displayed to me.

Everybody else would continue to see everything greybear posted (unless they too - gasp - added greybear to their blacklist).

Privacy:

Blacklists are 100-percent private!

Anybody that you might add to your blacklist will have NO IDEA that you have added them to your blacklist.

Preview:

Here is a basic screenshot of what the interface looks like:

As you can see it is about as simple and as basic as is necessary.

Implementation:

At this time the Blacklist feature is available only to Gold Members.

As is typical of new features ChristianBlog.Com releases new features to the community in this order: Gold Members -> Premier Members - Free Members

We do so for two reasons: (1) To provide those who support ChristianBlog.Com the most to have "first chance" to try out new features! Our way of saying 'thank you' to them. (2) Because our group of Gold Members is rather small - and when rolling out new features it is better to just have a few people try it out and make sure it is working, rather than tens of thousand of people trying it out and discovering something major is wrong/bad.

After we hear back from our Gold Members that it is working as expected (does not have any major bugs and such) we will roll it out for our Premier Members.

At this time I have no plans to roll this feature out to those who are not Gold or Premier Members. I very much consider this one of the "exclusive" features of ChristianBlog.Com that justifies being a supporting members of ChristianBlog.Com in order to have access too.

Blacklist Access:

For those who are Gold Members you can now access the new Blacklist feature within your "Friends/Contacts" section of the website (top navigation).

Therein will be a new link/option entitled "Blacklist". Simply click that link to manage your blacklist!

Near Future:

Once we get this featured rolled out to the Premier Members and we hear back from them that it is working without problems, I will begin to put into place the blacklist throughout the rest of the website.

Right now the blacklist works only on the (logged in) "home page" of ChristianBlog.Com, but in the future it will be in place throughout most of the website.

The only thing I have not 100% decided upon yet is whether to blacklist "Blog Comments".

The thing that makes me hemhaw about not blacklisting Blog Comments is that it could ('probably will' more than 'theoretically will') cause a disruption in the "flow" of how a blog and it's comments read.

It could make it rather difficult to read through a long blog if half a dozen or more of the blog comments are not being displayed because you choose to blacklist a bunch of people who were writing in the given blog. (make sense?)

So, I'm still unsure of whether to do that or not, so for those of you with access to it, and who give it a try, please share your thoughts. The feedback I get from all of you who comment on this will probably play a significant role in whether it does get implemented or not.

In Closing:

A couple years ago greybear and I were talking about the future of ChristianBlog.Com and I mentioned a few things to him about features that I would never add to ChristianBlog.Com - including things such as: the ability to customize the design, audio/videos that automatically started, blogs ratings, and so on. One of the things I mentioned did happen to be a 'blacklist' - and the reason I included the blacklist in the feature was because I thought the day would never come when two people would get so totally upset at each other that they would be so.... well... mad... that they would just refuse to work things out. Of course I was naive and I tend to see things with rose colored glasses, so it was just one of those things I could never see me adding to ChristianBlog.Com.

That said, I am now publicly apologizing to greybear for going back on my word about never adding a blacklist here at ChristianBlog.Com. As you well know GreyBear, times have changed, laws have changed, and ChristianBlog.Com is not immune for the types of things we hear all to often happen at websites like myspace, facebook and so forth. Thankfully it has never happened, and by the grace of God it never will. But I think we both knew the day would come when ChristianBlog.Com would begin to have to put features into place to protect people from other people - or people from themselves lol. So, I do apologize brother for me going back on my word about this.

To the global ChristianBlog.Com Community... it would be my sincere hope that none of you would ever find the need to use a blacklist. That said, I do understand that people do not always see eye-to-eye. I do understand that somebody within the family of Christ have such totally opposite beliefs that something like a blacklist is necessary to help you from being at odds with each other. It is in these situations that I would hope this blacklist would be used. Not out of spite or anger, but out of a need to guard yourself from feeling or having anger or hated towards a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

Thank you,
John B. Abela
Founder/Owner, ChristianBlog.Com

Vance Breise @disciplevance ·

I doubt if I would ever need to uses this, but it sounds fair to me.

I just have one question; If I become a Gold Member, can I black list myself? Just kidding.

I have receintly met one man from India, and a lady from South Africa.

God bless you guys, for Christian Blog, it has become an important part of my life.

Kirk M @blessings2you ·

In all honesty, and with a degree of grief, I must admit that in my time here there have been two occasions when this feature would have been gladly used by myself. In both cases the person involved would not and could not get the message to change and tried in their own way to commandeer the site to promote new age propaganda in one case and divide and conquer tactics in another.

In both cases the individual in due time crossed actual lines and were removed from being members, but the lead up to such a time made things very tense and at times unbearable. These types of situations, although extremely rare, are the only times I would consider using this option. Thank God there is nothing remotely resembling this going on here now, or has for many months. But, one never knows when the next wolf in sheep's clothing might appear. For that reason I see no problem in having the option available even if only used on the rarest of occasions.

B2Y

Sandy Brooks @poodlelady ·

Wow John this is something for me to think about and pray about.

In the nearly 2 1/2 yrs I've been here I have come across a couple people who's blogs I have chosen not to read: 1- because what they teach simply does not line up with the Word of God and 2- because they are simply argumentative/heckling in their comments -unless of course you are 100% in agreement with them.

Initially my thought would be -oh ya I'd "blacklist" so&so - but what if somewhere down the line say through the chatroom we came to an understanding and maybe even became friends but I have "blacklisted" them and now can't read or comment on their blogs. Could they be taken off my "blacklist ?

Concerning Blog Comments:
Would allowing "blacklisting" said person(s) blog comments mean they can not comment on your blogs only and if so shouldn't it also work the other way as well. Although If you had "blacklisted" this person(s) blogs I guess you wouldn't be seeing their blogs therefore would not be commenting on them. (sorry thinking out loud here).

This is definitely something that should not be taken lightly or used just because one is angry or upset with someone at the moment.

John B. Abela @abelajohnb ·

Hello All,

[quote=disciplevance]can I black list myself? Just kidding.[/quote]

LOL, No... I made sure to add a check into the software that wouldn't allow you to add yourself.

But that brings up something I forgot to mention above.

I made the (executive) decision to also make it so a few other people cannot be "blacklisted" including:
[list=1]
[] [member=support]support[/member]
[
] [member=christianblog]christianblog[/member]
[] [member=abelajohnb]abelajohnb[/member]
[
] [member=everfaithful]everfaithful[/member]
[] [member=greybear]greybear[/member]
[
] [member=scott]scott[/member]
[/list]
The reason for this is because all of those people/account are people/accounts that have direct control of ChristianBlog.Com and when/if they instruct somebody to do something [i](i.e.: to behave or get their act together)[/i] it is something that should not be not seen [i](because somebody they are trying to correct had them blacklisted - doh!)[/i] and it is something that should be done ASAP -- and because those six people/accounts have the ability to do things to force people to behave 😉

[quote=blessings2you]In all honesty, and with a degree of grief, I must admit that in my time here there have been two occasions when this feature would have been gladly used by myself.[/quote]

I very very much agree. Those are two very good examples of WHY this feature was created.

Another one, which I did not mention above would be if you feel somebody is stalking you. Of course if we ever were to receive a report of potential stalking I would go to great lengths to ensure that was not the case - and if it was deal with it harshly - but lets say, down the road, I leave and somebody else is overseeing the website, or the website gets sooo huge that it becomes very hard to handle those issues... well, with a "blacklist" you could add that person to your blacklist and bam, problem solved [i](once we get the rest of the site setup to use the blacklist that is.)[/i]

There are a whole lot of reasons I can think of, but none I hope ever become a reality here at ChristianBlog.Com!

[quote=poodlelady]Concerning Blog Comments:Would allowing "blacklisting" said person(s) blog comments mean they can not comment on your blogs only and if so shouldn't it also work the other way as well. Although If you had "blacklisted" this person(s) blogs I guess you wouldn't be seeing their blogs therefore would not be commenting on them. (sorry thinking out loud here).[/quote]

Yes this is one of the sticky issues I'm not sure how we should approach.

I think we could either:

(1) Just let anybody that is a member post in any blog and "hide" the comments from those that blacklist people. This of course could cause "blog comment flow" issues. It would also protect you by others knowing you have blacklisted them.

(2) Totally deny access to your profile, blogs, discussions, prayers/praise, etc, from anybody that is on your blacklist. This would be a "total denial" of access by the person you have blacklisted. Of course by going this route people would know that you have blacklisted them.

So, those are the issues I see at both ends/options.

[quote=literalword]Maybe it is just me but it really seems pointless.[/quote]

Well, I can only say: Count yourself lucky you have always been in a situation where you would not find this feature you need! I think it is perfectly clear that a number of other folks do/have though.

Thanks everybody,
John B. Abela
Founder/Owner, ChristianBlog.Com

Rhonda Jones @blackrose65 ·

ouch! That was probably a painful decision for you to make, John. We all have our moments when we haven't spent enough time with The Father, and behave poorly.

And unfortunately, some of us aren't mature enough to, as literalword says, just not click the button, or even pray for the person that's working your nerves!(the first thing I do lately when someone works mine!)

BIG SIGH.

Thanks John for helping us live better together on-line.....

John B. Abela @abelajohnb ·

Hello,

This is a formal announcement that the "Blacklist" feature is available for all [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Gold[/internallink] and NOW for all [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Premier Members[/internallink]!

As indicated above this feature was initially released to just [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Gold Members[/internallink] so they could have an opertunity to test the feature and to give them the opertunity to have an exclusive 'first-look' at this feature.

We have now finished our initial testing and have made the feature available to all [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Premier Members[/internallink].

Please be aware that ChristianBlog.Com has no plans to release this to those members with [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Free Accounts[/internallink]. As indicated in the initial post, "[i]At this time I have no plans to roll this feature out to those who are not Gold or Premier Members. I very much consider this one of the "exclusive" features of ChristianBlog.Com that justifies being a supporting members of ChristianBlog.Com in order to have access too.[/i]".

Thank you and I welcome feedback from our [internallink=http://www.christianblog.com/membership/]Premier Members[/internallink] as they try out this new feature!

For Christ's Ministry,
John B. Abela
Founder/Owner, ChristianBlog.Com

Marsha Tyler Ronquist @kraftykatz ·

Hopefully I will not have to use this feature anytime soon.

Like B2Y there have only been a couple persons that I would have blacklisted.

I prefer to simply not read or respond to those persons.

I agree with blackrose, John this must have been a difficult decision for you to make.

KraftyKatz

☕
John B. Abela @abelajohnb ·

[quote=kraftykatz]John this must have been a difficult decision for you to make.[/quote]
Well, I think as the website begins to grow bigger and bigger, faster and faster, this is going to be one of those features that is really important to a lot of people.

If anybody encounters any issues with it, please, drop a response in this thread and I'll look into it!

John

K Reynolds @kreynolds ·

I did try this earler to see how it works...

The individual does show up in my blacklist contacts list but I still see their blogs and can click on them to read. I logged out and logged back in to see if that would make a difference. It didn't. Another member told me they tried it also but had the same experience as me.

K