Twitter, Now Rebranded as X, Set to Eliminate Blocking Feature

Elon Musk, CEO of X (formerly Twitter), has announced the removal of the blocking feature on the platform, citing its lack of practicality. While users will still be able to block direct messages, concerns have arisen about increased difficulty in combating abusive content. This decision is the latest in a series of changes Musk has made since acquiring the platform. The move aligns with his vision for a "digital town square," but it risks violating app store terms and user protection regulations. Critics worry about inadequate safeguards against harassment. The article discusses potential implications and reactions from users and experts.

Twitter, Now Rebranded as X, Set to Eliminate Blocking Feature

In an unexpected move, Elon Musk, CEO of X (formerly known as Twitter), has announced the removal of the blocking feature, citing its lack of practicality. Musk asserts that the feature's functionality is puzzling and has decided to retain the ability for users to block direct messages instead.

This decision has stirred a significant response on social media, with many expressing concerns about the potential for increased difficulty in combating abusive content on their timelines.

This development marks yet another alteration under Mr. Musk's leadership, following his acquisition of the platform in a substantial $44 billion deal last year.

As of now, the blocking mechanism prevents posts from blocked accounts from appearing on the blocker's timeline and vice versa. Additionally, blocked accounts cannot send messages to or view posts by the person who has blocked them.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the original Twitter, seems to align with Musk's standpoint, advocating for a "mute-only" approach.

However, critics have voiced apprehensions that muting might not offer sufficient safeguards against instances of harassment, abuse, or stalking. The current mute function only silences notifications linked to an account's posts, while the muted version retains the ability to view and respond to the muter's posts.

Critics argue that Musk's decision might prove to be a significant misstep, considering the presence of "toxic individuals" on the platform, users wish to avoid interacting with entirely.

Beyond the platform itself, there are concerns that the removal of the blocking feature could potentially breach the terms and conditions of app stores such as Apple's App Store and Google Play. Both platforms require social media apps to furnish users with tools to counter harassment and bullying.

This situation could potentially render X unavailable for download from these stores. If the policy is implemented, it remains unclear whether currently blocked accounts will be automatically unblocked.

Users, however, do have the option of privatizing their accounts, making their tweets exclusive to approved followers and concealed from the public eye.

Elon Musk, the world's wealthiest individual, has brought about an array of transformations since taking the reins of the social media site. These include restructuring the company's top executive team and introducing charges for the coveted "blue tick" verification feature.

Musk is recognized for his extensive engagement on X and his propensity for presenting ideas without a strict commitment to follow through. However, verifying the accuracy of his statements on behalf of the firm is challenging, as X seldom responds to media inquiries.

The blocking functionality has traditionally been a valuable tool for those seeking refuge from attacks, bullying, or disagreements on the platform. When reporting an account, one of the initial suggestions often given is to either block or mute it while an investigation is conducted, a practice not unique to X.

While muting an account cloaks it from view, the account in question remains able to see the muter's activities. This requirement to stay visible to someone you're attempting to evade or are concerned about represents an unconventional approach.

Musk's vision of establishing a "digital town square" that amplifies all voices could potentially clash with both app store regulations and social media guidelines designed to safeguard users from online harm.