Twitter changes decision on blocking feature after wave of complaints

By Kyle Johnson,

After user backlash, Twitter has decided not to leave its new blocking function in place, instead the social media site returned it to the way it was. Users let Twitter know it hated the change by creating the trending hashtag, #restoretheblock.

On Thursday, the change to blocking was introduced where blocking was more like simply muting someone, according to USA Today. The blocked user could still follow the user who blocked them and reply to messages, but the blocker would not see their tweets. Before, blocking prevented a user from following or seeing their tweets.

In a blog post, Twitter vice president of product Michael Sippey admitted their error. "We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users."

Sippy made sure to note, "We never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe."

Twitter users were worried that the change could lead to abuse and increased harassment.

CNN reports that people so hated the alteration that a petition was created on Change.org. Zerlina Maxwell, a writer for Ebony magazine who started the petition, wrote about how she often received startling and inappropriate tweets and threats and the change could lead to more harassment.

Maxwell noted that the original blocking feature wasn't ideal, but "it at least forbid harassers from following you and at worst retweeting you into their feed, which can simply allow their followers to also harass you."

image: Twitter's official page


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