Twitter users have responded with almost universal fury at the social media platform’s latest revision.
Twitter has modified its block function to allow users who have been blocked to continue to follow the person who has blocked them. The change prohibits the blocking user from having any visible interaction with the person they have blocked, but the filter does not prevent them seeing their posts, retweeting or replying to the person who has blocked them.
“In the name of openness, Twitter altered its block function to keep your public information public—no matter who’s using it to harass you,” said Cooper Fleishman of the Daily Dot.
“Now, a blocked user doesn’t know he’s been blocked. He can still interact with you, retweet you, send you as many tweets as he or she likes. The difference is that you won’t know it—people you block are just muted in your feed.”
Kashmir Hill of Forbes described the change as the digital equivalent of plugging your ears.
Twitter spokesperson Jim Prosser said: “We want to reinforce that content in a public sphere is viewable by the world.”
“The new block function’s potential for abuse may be notable, but so are its implications for advertisers. We can’t simply cut ties with content we don’t like; all we can do is bind our own hands,” said Fleishman.
So Twitter's block tweaks mean that blocking is pretty much muting now? How rubbish. pic.twitter.com/2iP7VCVY46
— Laura Sparling (@LauraSparling) December 12, 2013
Twitter messing with the block function. It's like a zombie film where all the zombies have been contained then someone opens the gate!
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) December 13, 2013
— Sarah M (@sazza_jay) December 12, 2013
Twitter is now my primary six teacher. After being chased home by kids throwing stones at my head, I need to be tolerant of bullies
— HRH Queen Bubblegum (@KrystalSim) December 13, 2013
Now, the block button just mutes whoever you are trying to block. This is not good AT ALL. http://t.co/6cqOKFUy4D
— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) December 13, 2013
If @twitter is stopping the ability to block people, my timeline's going to make Gordon Ramsay look like a sweet-tongued choirboy...
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 13, 2013
— Sady Doyle (@sadydoyle) December 12, 2013
The new Twitter block function is like reporting a stalker to the police and having them give you a blindfold so you won't see them.
— Dave Hogg (@davehogg) December 12, 2013
.@twitter "Block" and "Ignore" are not interchangeable terms. It's why I have locks as well as curtains.
— Rachel Edidin (@RaeBeta) December 12, 2013
— Ed Key (@edclef) December 12, 2013
If you block someone now they can continue to follow you!!?? Seriously!? WTF??? Go home Twitter, you're drunk.
— tom jamieson (@jamiesont) December 12, 2013