Monday, August 21, 2023

Twitter to Remove Block Feature

Juli Clover:

Twitter or “X” owner Elon Musk today said that the option to block people on Twitter is going to be “deleted as a feature” in the future, as it “makes no sense.”

Musk made the comment in response to a tweet asking whether there was a reason to block someone instead of muting someone on the social network. Mute and block are two fundamentally different features on Twitter. Mute prevents you from seeing content from Twitter users, while block prevents other people from seeing your content, following you, and interacting with you.


[If] someone replies to the reply from the muted person, you will see that notification and be alerted to the conversation. For many users, the loss of the block function would be detrimental.

Nick Heer:

Though harassment and abuse are the most obvious cases for blocking another user, I find a low threshold is necessary for a more enjoyable use of these platforms. It removes from your view any user who spoils your experience for any reason. That is excellent. If anything, I think using the “block” button on social media is increasingly necessary, as platform owners have decided to decrease the extent to which users control their own experience.

John Gruber:

Both platforms thus require social media apps to support users being able to block other users. Google’s language is unambiguous. The rub is how “blocking” is defined. If all Musk wants to do is changing blocking to mean that blocked users can still see tweets from users who blocked them, but can’t interact (reply, quote, retweet) with them, I think that’s fine.

I think he means “fine with Apple,” which requires the ability to block without saying what that means. It’s not going to be fine with users who need more protection than what muting offers.

In any case, you may not be able to block people, but Twitter itself still will, for seemingly petty reasons:

Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at NYU who’s also known as an author and public speaker, said he was locked out of his X account after a quarrel with Elon Musk.


“For 18 days I have been unable to log-on to Twitter,” Galloway told Insider in an email. “Filled out form on the site, but no word back.”


Galloway most recently posted about Musk on X on July 27, commenting on a Reuters investigation which said Tesla created a secret team to suppress complaints about vehicles’ driving range.


Reuters also appeared to face a backlash from X after publishing its Tesla investigation, after links on the platform to its website saw a five-second delay — although this was seemingly reversed after news outlets reported on it.

Craig Grannell:

Threads and Mastodon are not doomed. What is: an expectation they can replace Twitter.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Me, and several people I know, used to block function on every sponsored Tweet we saw.

Maybe Mr Free Speech is trying to increase ad dollars. No wait, that would require that he had made some sort of plan before opening his mouth. Not very likely.

I agree with Musk here.

Twitter allows anonymous access to the service. That is, you can access its web site and read any users' public posts without logging on.

Given that, a "blocked" user can always just log off in order to view the content. Not really blocked at all, but the same as "muted", but making the other person jump through some pretty simple hoops to read the "blocked" content.

If Twitter wants to implement Facebook-style privacy controls, where you can restrict your posts to only be visible to logged-in users or people you have previously approved, then (and only then) would the concept of a "block" make sense, in case you want to make your posts visible to "everybody but ...". For whatever little good that might be.

@David Blocking also prevents interaction.

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