Twitter Removes, Then Reinstates ‘Block’ Function, After Users Respond with Anger

a petition against the update, which reached had over 2000 signatures. Four hours later, Twitter had reversed the change,  and put up a blog post to explain its actions.

In the post, Twitter’s VP of product Michael Sippey writes:

We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users u2013 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 did however say that this was not what Twitter users would want in the long term,  and maybe, with better messaging, Twitter was going to make the change anyway.

In reverting this change to the block function, users will once again be able to tell that theyu2019ve 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.

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Yesterday, Twitter quietly tried to modify the blocking function, tweaking it so that if a person got blocked, he or she could still follow the people blocking them, but they wouldn’t be visible to them. In other words, you weren’t really blocking the person so much as just muting them.

This was too much for Twitter users (both blockers and blockees) who sent in angry messages to the company, protesting that their privacy was being compromised. They even took to Change.org to create a petition against the update, which reached had over 2000 signatures. Four hours later, Twitter had reversed the change,  and put up a blog post to explain its actions.

In the post, Twitter’s VP of product Michael Sippey writes:

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 did however say that this was not what Twitter users would want in the long term,  and maybe, with better messaging, Twitter was going to make the change anyway.

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.

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