We have begun testing remove participant internally and hopefully it will hit externally within a month

– Lars Rasmussen, one of the lead Wave developers.

In a Wave entitled “Google Wave User Black List”, Lars piped up to offer advice on the best way to avoid and take action against known trolls and abusers and offered the above titbit about the imminent release of the ability to remove participants from Wave.

This is big news for Wave, and one of the most important features noticeably missing from the Google Wave interface. Wave abuse, trolling and destruction are all unavoidable realities of using Wave at the moment, and although usually infrequent, can significantly lower the enjoyment and tone of a Wave. Unfortunately, while every one can agree that a removal tool is necessary (and there’s an unusable greyed out button to show that the Wave team think it’s important as well) it hasn’t been implemented yet. One of the reasons for this delay must be the extraordinary thought and research that must be put into such a feature, to make certain that the feature itself is not abused. Care must be taken to see that users who are added and then removed retain some control of their legitimate contributions within context. The ability to remove people from such a collaborative space is an enormous can of worms, and one that most people would agree is important enough to get right the first time.

The wave that Lars opened up on was created to list known trolls and spammers.


  • Once you have added public with full access, making an abuse user read-only is more effective than removing them from the wave will.
  • There will soon be a way for you to report abuse directly to our internal abuse team
  • The feature you are asking for: block a user from a particular wave and all future waves created by you is exactly right but it will take us many months to get there…

– Further feedback from Lars

This is tremendous news, and along with the ability to make participants read-only, and even score them with karma //the.geekorium.au/karma-a-way-to-keep-wavers-in-line/ give users a powerful arsenal to shape the Wave experience the way they want.

Hat tip to The Shiny Wave: Google Wave User Black List.