Following sharp criticism from several users, Twitter was compelled to reverse the changes to its blocking functionality, and restored the ability to block unwanted followers.
Earlier, Twitter had allowed a blocked user to follow you, interact with your tweets and even receive your updates in timeline. However, the change angered many users – as the move just “muted” the blocked users rather completely barring from seeing person's activity on Twitter.
Twitter backed the change pointing out when a blocked user finds out he's been blocked, he would be upset and try to troll the blocker in other ways, often aggressively. Moreover, if an account is public, blocked users can still see their profiles – as logged-out users or someone who hasn't signed up on Twitter can see the profile updates. Blocking did not prevent anyone from seeing user's public tweets.
But, several users criticised the change, saying it overlooked the important aspect of blocking, and was a weak tool against trolling and stalking on the social networking website.
Following the uproar, Twitter reverted the changes to block functionality. Here's what Twitter said in a blog post:
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.
We’ve built Twitter to help you create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. That vision must coexist with keeping users safe on the platform. We’ve been working diligently to strike this balance since Twitter’s inception, and we thank you for all of your support and feedback to date. Thank you in advance for your patience as we continue to build the best – and safest – Twitter we possibly can.
Do you support Twitter's stance on its changes to block functionality? Let us know in the comments section below: