Twitter restores ability to block unwanted followers

Dec 13, 2013
Twitter has restored the ability to block unwanted followers from peering at posts, quickly reversing a policy change that triggered a barrage of criticism

Twitter on Thursday restored the ability to block unwanted followers from peering at posts, quickly reversing a policy change that triggered a barrage of criticism.

"Earlier today, we made a change to the way the 'block' function of Twitter works," Twitter's Michael Sippey said in a blog post late Thursday in California.

"We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many – we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect."

The turn-around came just hours after the San Francisco-based company modified its blocking mechanism so that users would not be able to see unwanted followers who would still be able to re-tweet, like, or peer at messages in public accounts of people who block them.

The move was met with criticism by many who worried about being harassed by stalkers or abusers.

The tactic came with what Twitter portrayed as the advantage of not alerting unwanted followers to being blocked.

Prior to the update, a blocked Twitter user was barred from seeing the person's account or posts, with those shut out made aware of what was taking place.

Reasoning given by Twitter for the change included mitigating rage of people who learn they are blocked and the reality that public posts at the globally popular one-to-many text messaging service are just that, public.

People using an #RestoreTheBlock hashtag rained vitriol on Twitter for turning a block list into a mute switch.

"We made #RestoreTheBlock happen," Katie Collins tweeted with the Twitter handle @GrlRedBalloon, thanking users of the service who "mobilized the troops."

Twitter wisely thanked users for their passionate feedback, while contending that the block list change was well-intended and well-reasoned.

"In reverting this change to the block function, users will once again be able to tell that they've been blocked," Sippey said.

"We believe this is not ideal, largely due to the retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends) that often occurs."

He added that Twitter will continue to explore features intended to protect users from abuse or retaliation.

Explore further: Twitter making tweets more 'visual' with overhaul

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter pushes deeper into targeted advertising

Dec 05, 2013

Twitter on Thursday launched a new form of targeted advertising, allowing companies to deliver "promoted tweets" to customers who show interest in the brand through Web browsing.

Twitter adds photo sharing to direct messages

Dec 10, 2013

Updated mobile software rolled out Tuesday by Twitter lets smartphone users send pictures in direct, personal messages seen only by recipients instead of being shared publicly on the social network.

Facebook to use Twitter hashtag style

Mar 14, 2013

Facebook is preparing to take on Twitter by adopting the messaging service's iconic hashtag symbol, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Twitter lets advertisers better target tweets

Jul 19, 2012

Twitter on Thursday began letting businesses more easily turn tweets into advertising that targets users of the globally popular one-to-many text messaging service.

Recommended for you

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

1 hour ago

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

2 hours ago

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

2 hours ago

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

15 hours ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

21 hours ago

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

Aug 21, 2014

Facebook awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

User comments : 0