Twitter’s Redesigned Block Feature Is a Stalker’s Delight - Update: Twitter Reinstates the Block Feature

A very bad idea
Internet • Views: 27,224

Twitter has made a disastrous decision about their user interface, and Leigh Honeywell has one of the best posts on what it means, and how to get around it: Changes to Twitter’s Block Behavior - and a Workaround.

Twitter posted an update today to their blocking functionality. In my opinion, it’s a real step backwards for the usability of Twitter for anyone with a large number of followers, or facing any kind of harassment.

It used to be that when you blocked someone, it would force them to “unfollow” you, in addition to hiding them from your mentions. This is no longer the case:

Note: If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline. If your Tweets are protected, blocking the user will cause them to unfollow you.

The obvious objection to my objection is “well your stuff is public anyway, they could just make a new account” - the thing is, this reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of 1) how people use blocking and 2) how harassers operate.

I’m hoping Twitter will rethink this decision. There’s already an outcry (see #RestoreTheBlock), and it’s going to get worse as more people find out that the block feature basically doesn’t work any more.

The old way wasn’t perfect at all, and determined nutjobs could get around it, but this new way equates to just giving up and saying, “Oh well, we don’t want the stalkers mad at us, so you’ll just have to deal with it.”

Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser says Twitter made the change because it thinks it will cut down on the vitriol, anger, and resentful Jezebel articles that result from knowing you’ve been blocked. “Now when you block a user, they cannot tell that you’ve blocked them,” tweeted Twitter CEO Dick Costolo. “It was a longstanding request from users of block.”

“We saw antagonistic behavior where people would see they were blocked and be mad,” says Prosser.

In my NSHO, this is one of the worst decisions by an Internet company in a while. Twitter has a big problem with targeted harassment, and they should be thinking about how to make it more difficult for abusers.

Instead they’ve made it easier for stalkers to do their dirty work, because they don’t want to lose them as customers.

UPDATE at 12/12/13 7:44:57 pm

Well, that didn’t take very long! Twitter has now reinstated the block feature.

UPDATE at 12/12/13 7:49:41 pm

Jump to top

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Recent Pages
Thanos
Fallout 4: Is the Transistor a Symbol of Peace?
It's a retro-future future... Today's episode has been sponsored by Squarespace. For more information, visit squarespace.com Tweet us! bit.lyIdea Channel Facebook! bit.lyTalk about this episode on reddit! bit.lyIdea Channel IRC! bit.lyEmail us! pbsideachannel [at] gmail [dot] com Fallout’s unique brand ...

10 hours, 47 minutes ago
Views: 115 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
HappyWarrior
A Photo Depository For Lizards Interested in Family History
So some of us were talking and decided it would be a neat idea to have a thread filled with old photos of family history. I'll post a photo as well an accompanying article about my great grandfather's blacksmtih shop. ...

20 hours, 21 minutes ago
Views: 187 • Comments: 34 • Rating: 7
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Laws Written by Men to Protect Women Deserve Scrutiny, Supreme Court Told
History holds a lesson for the Supreme Court, the brief warns: Be skeptical of laws protecting women that are written by men. The nation’s past is littered with such statutes, say the historians who filed the friend-of-the-court brief, and ...

22 hours, 14 minutes ago
Views: 199 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Great White Snark
Canadians Learn Arabic to Give Syrian Refugees a Warm Welcome
A timely reminder some real angels walk among us. Simple human angels of mercy for the distressed. Canadian David Foster developed a passion for Arabic ten years ago, while he was working for an international company in Sudan. Now, he ...

1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 344 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 21 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
mishuga
Ted Nugent: Jew(ish Politician)s = Nazis
Ted Nugent singled out 12 Jewish-American politicians, complete with a graphic depicting each of the politicians alongside an Israeli flag, for supporting gun control and other crimes. The post, which has been shared more than 4,000 times and liked more ...

2 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 366 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Why We Need to Think Beyond Roe v. Wade - Pacific Standard
For the immigrant mothers—Dolores Madrigal, the lead plaintiff, and the nine others named in the suit, and countless others whose names we will not know—the story was more complex, the culpable more numerous. First, there were the doctors and ...

2 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 354 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Are Pets Really Good for Us? - Pacific Standard
We just adopted a dog, meaning I'm now a pet owner, meaning I'm now responsible for another living creature. It's weird. Her name is Bella. She's a pit bull mixed with something that is not a pit bull, and ...

2 days, 21 hours ago
Views: 342 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Thanos
DNA Study of First Ancient African Genome Flawed, Researchers Report
True science is often about finding errors, mistakes, and bad data and correcting it. As it turns out, the data produced by the program used to map Mota’s DNA came in a format that had to be tweaked before the ...

4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 703 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 39 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
The NFL Wants You to Think These Things Are Illegal
The voiceover in the clip says: "This telecast is copyrighted by the NFL for the private use of our audience. Any other use of this telecast or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NFL's consent ...

4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 861 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 3
Tweets: 93 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Thanos
Future Islands - the Chase
Filmed live at The Music Farm in Charleston, SC on April 14, 2015 by Allen Alcantara on a GoPro Hero4. US Tour Crew:Live Sound: Dan FromeLighting Designer: Phil WeinholtTour Manager: Allen AlcantaraKing of Shirts: Dan GaetaLive drums: Michael Lowry ...

5 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 477 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook

Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0