Twitter reverts to old blocking policy after #blockgate backlash

That didn't last long. On Thursday (December 12), Twitter updated its blocking policy. Later that day, the social-media service reinstated the old policy.

In a blog post, Twitter vice-president Michael Sippey said the reversal was made in response to a user backlash:

Earlier today, we made a change to the way the “block” function of Twitter works. 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.

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.

I summarized the short-lived changes in my own post yesterday. Some Twitterers used the hashtag #blockgate to signal their discontent.

With the reversal in policy, making users unfollow you without permanently blocking them just requires blocking and then unblocking them again.

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