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

A very bad idea
Internet • Views: 34,585

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 PageThis 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: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Cash.app Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
McConnell, When Asked, Fails to Denounce Racist ‘Replacement Theory’ Silence is assent. It's that simple and that frightening. As Democrats have ratcheted up condemnation of "replacement theory" in the wake of Saturday's mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, some Republicans on Capitol Hill have shied away from rejecting ...
Rightwingconspirator
9 hours, 36 minutes ago
Views: 95 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 •
Sen. Rick Scott Senate Re-Election Chair’s GOP PlanDaughter1 provided this clear-text draft of the GOP 11-point plan from the eye-poison on the Scott website. It is still recursive as created, crowded and full of codewords, but much more readable. The "Sundown" clause alone is enough to end ...
Decatur Deb
1 day, 16 hours ago
Views: 201 • Comments: 4 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 1 •
YUNGBLUD (With WILLOW) - Memories (Official Music Video) YUNGBLUD (with WILLOW) - Memories (Official Music Video) Stream and download “Memories (with WILLOW)” : yungblud.lnk.to watch more official YUNGBLUD videos: yungblud.lnk.to SIGN UP to YUNGBLUD's Mailing List: yungblud.lnk.to subscribe to YUNGBLUD: yungblud.lnk.to connect with YUNGBLUD online:visit the official ...
Thanos
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 786 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 3 •