Yes, I know this will be a controversial feature. Here's the history.
In the distant past, we had the concept of "reciprocal ignores". If you ignored someone, you could choose to make it "reciprocal", meaning that the other person could not see your posts either. At some point, I was convinced by those who are adamantly opposed to reciprocal ignore to remove the feature. They had some very good (and valid) arguments about why it was a bad idea.
At the same time, there are also some very good (and valid) reasons to have reciprocal ignore. Most of you have seen both sides argue their case on the board. A couple months ago, I talked to some of those who are most vocal on either side, and we came to a compromise that both could live with, even if neither side is 100% happy with it.
Starting today, you can "block interaction" with users who you have chosen to ignore. When you do this, that user will still be able to see your posts, but they will NOT be able to either reply or use the reaction buttons. They will still be able to participate in the subthread below, but will not be able to reply directly to you.
Attempts to get around the block (for example, by replying to one of the responses but directing it at the user who blocked you) will result in a penalty.