Twitter reverts changes to blocking function following protests

R. Dinakaran Chennai | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on December 13, 2013


Twitter has reverted the changes made to the blocking function – within a day – following protests.

Twitter had changed the blocking function by enabling tweeple to interact with those who had blocked them. What this meant was the blocked users were able to follow and also interact with the person who had blocked them, but the blocker would not get notifications of the interactions.

The changes had also removed the facility where the blocked user was told that he had been blocked. After the change, there was no way the user would know that he had been blocked.

“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,” Twitter had said.

According to The Guardian, a Twitter spokesman told media earlier on Friday that the new policy was to prevent retribution which they noticed was sometimes being carried out by people who were angry at being blocked. It said a hashtag #RestoreTheBlock began trending in the US and Canada among users angry at the new policy.

This had resulted in a backlash that made Twitter revert the changes.

Announcing that it was reverting the blocking policy, Twitter said in a blog post today, “Earlier today, we made a change to the way the “block” function of Twitter works. We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users – we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect.

“In reverting this change to the block function, users will once again be able to tell that they’ve been blocked. We believe this is not ideal, largely due to the retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends) that often occurs. Some users worry just as much about post-blocking retaliation as they do about pre-blocking abuse. Moving forward, we will continue to explore features designed to protect users from abuse and prevent retaliation.”

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Published on December 13, 2013
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