Twitter reverses controversial blocking policy

Social Media site still seeking effective anti-bullying policies

by Mark Hodgkinson Dec 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

  • Tech News


    Twitter reverses controversial blocking policy
    Twitter has backtracked over changes to its blocking policy, made only yesterday, following a deluge of negative feedback from users.
    Critics – and we agree – argued that Twitters decision to allow blocked users to follow and tweet at accounts they had previously been prevented access to opened up the doors to online bullies and abusers.

    Strangely, whilst Twitter allowed the blocked user full sight of accounts and tweets, it wouldn’t allow the person who blocked them to view the activity, which could obviously lead to malicious tweets being conducted behind a user’s back.
    Backstabbing opportunities

    Twitter actually made the changes to prevent retaliation scenarios, where it envisaged a blocked user might seek other methods of revenge toward the blocker.

    In a statement, Twitter's VP of Product, Michael Sippey, confirmed the reversal of the decision whilst voicing some misgivings over the current state of affairs
    Twitter still has misgivings over current situation
    "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," said Sippey.

    "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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