The owner of Twitter, now renamed "X", announced on Thursday a new change in that social network that is generating a lot of controversy.
"Block is going to be deleted as a “feature”, except for DMs" (direct messages). This is what Musk wrote on Thursday. In a second message, the owner of Twitter added, referring to the block: "It makes no sense". Many users do not think the same, who have openly criticized that announcement.
The blocking feature was implemented on Twitter years ago. That feature lets you block certain users from reading, sharing, and responding to your comments. If Musk's plans go ahead, that blocking ability would be limited to private messaging, but not public comments. Many critics of that ad warn that this change would unleash bullies as the blocking feature is the most effective tool to keep them at bay.
The only option users would have against harassers would be to mute them, but this feature does not prevent a user from following you, reading your comments and sharing them. In addition, silencing a stalker does not prevent them from also harassing your followers or those who interact with you, a very common practice on Twitter by troll accounts, which are dedicated to bothering and harassing others. Other users.
This change could spell trouble for Twitter. According to Business Insider, Apple and Google app stores (AppStore and Google Play) require social blocking feature, so if Twitter removes that feature, your app could be removed from both stores. AppStore Guidelines for Apps states:
To prevent abuse, apps with user-generated content or social networking services must include:
- A method for filtering objectionable material from being posted to the app
- A mechanism to report offensive content and timely responses to concerns
- The ability to block abusive users from the service
- Published contact information so users can easily reach you
Also, Google Play guidelines for apps require "an in-app system for blocking UGC and users" (UGC stands for User Generated Content).
Because of this, and as a sign of the discontent caused by this announcement, the users themselves Twitter users have added a note to Musk's announcement, warning:
If the ability to block users was to be removed, X would be in violation of the policies of the App Store as well as the Google Play Store. Potentially, this could lead to X being removed from these platforms.
The suppression of the blocking function on Twitter would be a great setback in the fight against bullying, especially among the people most vulnerable to this type of practice (for example, the youngest). It is striking that Musk, who has consulted other less controversial measures with his users, in this case did not want to do so, making the decision without further ado, ignoring all the criticism.
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