>The question I have is What emotional and psychological needs are served
>by announcing to the entire group that you have placed certain people in
>a kill-file? Who cares who you choose not to read?
Geez, do I have to explain *everything* to you? This is getting
to be a career, I'll send you my bill for anything over two dozen
explanations per month.
There is certainly an element of emotional and psychological
satisfaction in telling someone that their opinions have been
consistently so worthless that they're not even worth the time
it takes to skip over them, but that's not the reason it's
often publicly announced. Not the main reason, anyway.
There are purely practical reasons, including the following:
Making the victim aware that you think he's a total idiot,
instead of just an occassional one. Along with the emotional
satisfaction mentioned above, there's the fact that someone
deserves to know when they've acted in a way that's
totally exasperating, so they can change their behavior if
they wish to.
Doing it publicly might also make the victim resolve to
do better in the future, so as not to be publicly
embarrassed in this way again. It's a slim chance, I know,
but we can always hope.
It lets the victim know that you won't be seeing any more
of his posts, so if he wants you to see or comment on
something he said, he'll have to email it to you.
Likewise, it lets the *group* know that even if you've
participated in other parts of the same thread, you're
not going to be seeing posts from the victim, so if
there's anything there they think you should see or
would like you to comment on (publicly or privately)
they'll have to draw it to your attention. For example,
if Tim Thompson ever puts Ted in his kill file, I want
to know, so that I can call Tim up if I want his rebuttal
to something Ted says concerning planetary dynamics. If
he hadn't made the public announcement, I'd take the
fact that Tim hadn't responded as a sign he didn't care
to, which would be a mistake.
It lets the victim and the group know that your silence in
no way signals consent, only that you're not reading the
Similarly, if the victim poses a specific question or
challenge to the "killer", and then the victim accuses him
of not responding because he can't, the "killer" can point
to a previous public notice as proof that he's not just
ignoring the issue, he didn't see it. Which reminds me,
you don't have this excuse for not responding to my
challenge -- what *is* your excuse?