TwitterFacebook

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

A very bad idea
Internet • Views: 22,933

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

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

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.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Hands on With Facebook’s Nearby Friends
There's a lot that Facebook allows you to share with your friends. On Thursday, the company added "exact location" to that list. Facebook's new Nearby Friends feature enables you to flip a switch to start broadcasting your location with friends in the area. If you see someone nearby with whom you want to meet up, you can tap a button, and send them ...

1 hour, 7 minutes ago
Views: 47 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
A 12-Year-Old’s Trek of Despair Ends in a Noose at the Border
Noemi Álvarez Quillay took the first steps of the 6,500-mile journey to New York City from the southern highlands of Ecuador on Tuesday, Feb. 4, after darkness fell. A bashful, studious girl, Noemi walked 10 minutes across dirt roads that cut through corn and potato fields, reaching the highway to Quito. She carried a small suitcase. Her grandfather Cipriano Quillay flagged down a ...

1 hour, 9 minutes ago
Views: 78 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
palmerskiss
Debate Discrimination - Houston Chronicle
We're glad to see Mayor Annise Parker finally stand up and propose a human rights commission that will provide local due process for victims of public discrimination. Parker told the Chronicle editorial board that she plans to release a formal version of her proposal within the next few weeks, but sometimes the process is just as important as the result. As the energy ...

18 hours, 48 minutes ago
Views: 99 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
cycroft
Russ Campbell’s Blog: Bill C-23, Fair Elections Act Seems Now on Solid Ground
Now that a Sen­ate com­mit­tee has rec­om­mended nine changes to Bill C-23, Fair Elec­tions Act, the leg­is­la­tion seems pretty solid. And, since Pierre Poilievre has, ap­par­ently, in­di­cated pri­vately that he's open to changes, an amended ver­sion of the bill will likely be­come law by this sum­mer. We would prob­a­bly have got­ten to this point ear­lier had not the min­is­ter re­spon­si­ble for the bill ...

21 hours, 18 minutes ago
Views: 79 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
MichaelJ
Live now - 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP World Tour
More: 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP Iconic Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia once again hosts the world's best surfers for the 41st running of the Bells Beach Contest. New feature in this broadcast: drone cam!

1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 184 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 3 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Why the Temperature of the Yellow Sea Is a Big Deal, and Other Questions About the South Korean Ferry Disaster
The boat ran into trouble several dozen miles from Jindo, an island that sticks out of South Korea's southwestern corner like a little toe. Jindo is surrounded by a group of even smaller islands that are slightly farther afield from the mainland. The ferry was curving around those small islands at the time it issued a distress call. What caused the disaster? We ...

1 day, 22 hours ago
Views: 356 • Comments: 3
Tweets: 25 • Rating: 1
Idle Drifter
Calgary stabbings: How knife crime in Canada can cause ‘moral panic’
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the "worst mass murder" in the city's history didn't end at the barrel of a gun. Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen at a house party, taking "a large knife" and using it to fatally stab four men and one woman, all of whom were students ...

3 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 242 • Comments: 5
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
aagcobb
New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate: New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Instead of pushing for a Constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified in 38 states, advocates ask individual state legislatures to pass an agreement: that they'll pledge all their presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote as soon as enough other states pass the law to ...

3 days, 15 hours ago
Views: 252 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Political Atheist
The Insane History of Rockets at Jet Propulsion Laboratories
The Rocket Boys In the late 1930s, a group of Caltech graduate students were booted off campus after blowing up (part of!) their building during a rocket test gone awry. Unwilling to give up on the joy of semi-controlled explosions, the students and a few of their friends headed into the San Gabriel Mountains. They picked a deserted gully -- Arroyo Seco -- ...

4 days, 12 hours ago
Views: 284 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
iossarian
Drug Companies Want Your Money
Two thematically-related stories on the BBC at the moment: UK drug company Glaxo 'paid bribes to Polish doctors' UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered. Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report Hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better ...

4 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 278 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 0
 Frank says:

I feel it's better to sing about these things ourselves and perform them with the people who it happened to than to have some journalist one day say 'then in 1971, one time when they were at the mudshark hotel...' But people have problems with things of a glandular nature in connection with things of a musical nature. They say why, music is way up here, and glands are way down there and they can't get 'em together, but then they are hypocritical because they take a band that doesn't sing about such things directly and couches their language a little and does it with a little choreography and say that that's great and that's real rock and roll. I maintain that there's no difference, we're just honest enough to get up and say 'this is this and that's that and here you are and respond to it' and the response is 'why... I'm hip, but of course I am offended'.