Elon Musk has said the microblogging site X, formerly known as Twitter, will remove a protective feature that lets users block other accounts.
“Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for DMs [direct messages],” Musk said in a post on X, adding later, “It makes no sense.”
The block feature allows an X user to restrict accounts they like from contacting them, seeing their posts or following them on the social media platform.
However, the platform would retain the mute function, which screens a user from seeing specified accounts but, unlike blocking, does not alert the other account to the action.
WHY ELON MUSK’S MOVE CONTROVERSIAL?
Removing blocking feature can reshape the way users connect, communicate and coexist in the microblogging site. There have been renewed concerns over some fraudsters impersonating, abusing, and harassing uses on social media.
Users have been resorting to this block feature as a means of defense against harassment, threats or stalking within the platform.
Is there ever a reason to block vs mute someone?
Give your reasons.
— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) August 18, 2023
However, X is trying to convey that there will be “a stronger form of mute” in place of blocking. Currently, the mute function of the platform hides individual accounts that users don’t want to interact to on their timeline.
“We can make mutes stronger, like not allow people you mute to reply or quote you. We can also transfer [your] block list to mute list,” Aqueel Miqdad, a software engineer at X, suggested in a post.