Twitter's New Blocking Rules Shot Down in Hours

twitterTwitter's an awesome resource and loads of fun. For us nerds, it's a great place to quickly get your news headlines and rapid-fire social commentary. There are also some pretty hilarious and fun people to follow on the site. (*cough cough*). But, like everything good and awesome, the site also has it's fair share of the 'not awesome'.

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, you might decide to block someone on Twitter. Hopefully you don't come across toxic people too much in your general interneting, but when you happen upon some not-so-nice folks, it's always good to know that the technology exists for you to block them. Out of sight, out of your feed, and out of your mind. Good riddance. But, for a few hours yesterday, Twitter made a change to its blocking policy that changed all that. 


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What they did was implement something called "shadow blocking". This is also what I call all the ghost-versus-ghost fight scenes in my (totally not real) novel set in a ghost realm called ghostulon. You know. In case you were wondering. And you know you were.

With shadow-blocking, the person you want gone from your techno life is banished -- but only to you! They can still read everything you write, retweet your clever musings, and even reply to you if they feel so moved. The difference being -- you have no idea they are doing any of this! The policy puts the onus on the blocker and spares the blockee. Which is the total opposite of what a good blocking policy SHOULD do. 

It goes to follow that Twitter folk freaked the heck out over this. It's all well and good to go along clueless, but what if the person retweeting your sayings is doing something to harm your reputation, for one? Twitter quickly did an about face and went back to their old policies, but it begs the question -- why did they make the change in the first place?

Which policy do you prefer?


Image via eldh/Flickr

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