Any way we can disable cutesy Discourse messages? ("Let's welcome back So'n'So")

I find the chipper little messages that automatically pop up between posts are often inappropriate. It’s jarring to have one appear in a very serious discussion. The last time was in the middle of people baring their families’ mental health problems, including suicide, and suddenly there’s a smiley face:
" :slightly_smiling_face: It’s been a while since we’ve seen DepressedGrandpa — their last post was 6 months ago."

If there’s any way for an individual poster to turn those off, I haven’t been able to find it. Does a mod, an Admin, or ANYone have the ability to do that?

Does everyone else just love those little smiley interruptions? From what I’ve seen, I doubt people would miss that function. I’ve never seen anyone stop in the middle of a discussion to say “Hey, DepressedGrandpa. I see you haven’t posted in 6 months. Where have you been?”

If there’s no other way, I had a plan to look into making a userscript to hide those when they show up, or at least remove the smiley face. But I kinda forgot about it.

This sort of thing is harder than on the other site due to how Discourse dynamically loads. (In other words, it only shows some posts at a time to save bandwidth.)

On the other hand, they’ve alerted me to socks posing as new posters at least twice, so they do have some utility.

To me, they’re a waste of screen real estate.

You can hide them with an ad-blocker. Just be careful because you might also block similar messages from the staff (like the “Don’t reply to this post” messages that sometimes crop up).

I think it’s quite nice to have an alert that it’s a new poster, or someone who hasn’t posted for a while. In more lighthearted threads I’ve seen people comment, or welcome a new poster.

@codinghorror is usually quite open to suggestions on the text of messages, so if you can come up with a less ‘cutesy’ version then he might be willing to change it.

Avatars can be supplemented with Flair, little icons that are superimposed over the avatar. It would be possible to use that to indicate relatively new and recently returned posters. Probably be more work to implement than it’d be worth, though.

They could also be used for the charter member/member/guest designations, to show Trust Levels, or to show membership in the SDSAB.

That’s a good idea. Could show who is a mod, too.

It would require a SW change rather than just a trivial phrase change, though.

Perhaps they could do something along the lines of the cake icon which appears on someone’s anniversary. As I recall, it is a small icon of a slice of cake that appears to the right of the person’s name. It seems like they could have similar icons for a new poster or someone who is back after a long absence.

You should see a little shield icon beside the username of any mods. Much like filmore’s suggestion, I wonder if that field could be expanded to include more informational markers.

ETA: For all that, I’d love for there to be an icon marking the OP of the thread, but that’s a little off-topic, I guess.

New posters have the greyed out username, but it’s not particularly obvious.

Most of the mods have text saying so after their name, so I didn’t look for any other indicator. But one or two of them don’t, which tripped me up at first.

Like on Reddit? I don’t miss it in most threads, probably depends on the type of discussion.

I’d forgotten all about that.

Yeah, turns out you don’t need anything special to block this one. Adblock will work just fine. To make sure you don’t accidentally block all post messages (which can include some mod notes), make sure you only block .new-user.

If you’d rather have a userscript, the code for this is very bare bones:

let style = document.createElement('style');
style.textContent = '.new-user { display: none; }';

Thanks for the suggestions, BigT and BigEveryoneElse.

Though I do wish TPTB could disable them, but that’s hoping for too much…