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Block function on Twitter reinstated after outcry from users

The changes meant that if you blocked someone, they could still see all your activity.
Dec 13th 2013, 8:11 AM 7,881 11

TWITTER HAS REVERSED controversial changes it made to its block function, just hours after implementing the changes.

The amendment to the policy meant that if a user was blocked they would be unaware and would still be able to follow the person who blocked them, and see and interact with their tweets.

Meanwhile the person who blocked the user would not see the @replies or mentions of anyone they had blocked.

Essentially the block function became a one-way mute function; the blockees could still see your Twitter activity, but you couldn’t see theirs.

The old rules stated that: 

Twitter Blocking rules old

While the changed rules said: 

Twitter Blocking rules new

However, the changes only lasted a few hours after users opposed to the changes put pressure on Twitter using the #RestoreTheBlock hashtag.

They complained that it made ‘Twitter stalking’ too easy, and left them with no option but to make their accounts private.

In an updated blog post Twitter’s Vice President of Product Michael Sippey said:

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.

Sippey also explained the reasoning behind the initial changes:

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.

He also said that the company will continue to explore ways to protect users from abuse and retaliation.

-Additional reporting by Quinton O’Reilly 

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Emer McLysaght

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