There’s been a fair amount of controversy recently over Twitter’s “block” function. In mid-December, Twitter made and announced a change to the way blocking worked. The ensuing uproar, which prompted Twitter to revert the change less than a day later, continues to this day. Critics accuse Twitter of failing to protect victims of bullying and harassment—but the reaction really reveals more about the way people misunderstand Twitter, and social networking in general.
It may help to understand how Twitter blocking presently works (which is how it’s worked since the beginning), and how the brief change altered things. This article does a good job of explaining the change, and Twitter’s statement explains why they changed it back.
The block function many users demand [which for the record has never existed] would prevent a blocked user from seeing any of the blockee’s tweets or pictures under any circumstances. There are good reasons to want this function—like most of the Internet, Twitter is plagued with terrible people who enjoy victimizing others, and people deserve protection from harassment and bullying. There are, however, good reasons the block feature cannot do this. Continue Reading