After Elon Musk announced that the company would be removing the “blocking” feature from the site formerly called Twitter, prominent social media users expressed their strong disapproval.
The “block” feature, which lets users prevent other accounts from seeing them or interacting with them and stops those accounts from engaging, has been a major complaint from long-time X users.
Many users noted that this was the only way to avoid seeing content they don’t want to see. Users use this feature to block trolls that repeatedly spam them or criticize their posts.
Musk announced the controversial news about X Friday in response to a report that questioned the utility of this feature.
The account “Tesla Owners Silicon Valley”, posted on Friday, asked “Is it ever justified to block someone vs muffle them? Please explain your reasoning.” The “mute function” is an option in X that allows users to screen certain posts from their feeds but still allow the muted account access to the content of the muter. A user who mutes an account does not realize that it has been muted. However, it will be notified if the account tries to access another account.
Musk responded directly to the post on the account, posting “Block will be deleted as a feature’, except DMs.”
Musk appeared to be hinting at a way users could “block”, or prevent, certain users from messaging each other directly through the app.
The billionaire tech expert added that “block” makes no sense. Musk was flooded with angry users who insisted that the “block” feature is important and should remain.
It makes no sense
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 18, 2023
Buck Sexton, a conservative commentator, disagreed with Musk’s proposal. He wrote, “Blocking” is one of the site’s most important features. It would just become an echo chamber for the worst of idiots.
Billboard Chris, a conservative activist, also slammed Musk’s call, writing “Worst Idea Ever.” People who discuss controversial topics will be inundated with trolls, whose only goal is to cause fights and spread fake information. “My replies shouldn’t be a place for haters, liars, and those who will dox.”
Musk had another criticism of his platform. He said, “Considering that the reporting process via X is still dreadful… this is the most stupid move you’ve ever made.”
Countering the point made that muting does the same job as blocking in effect, the activist added, “All muting does is stop me from seeing people’s posts. They’re free to reply.”
This is a huge mistake. Block is a critical feature on this app.
Regretted minutes would skyrocket. There are certain evil people that users just don’t want following them or replying to them. Scammers, cyber stalkers, etc.
I suspect many people would abandon X if they can’t… pic.twitter.com/tPLMjFHA5y
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) August 18, 2023
The ‘Wall Street Silver’ account also condemned Musk’s plan, writing, “This is an enormous mistake.” This app’s Block feature is essential. The number of regretted minutes would increase. Users don’t like certain people following them, or responding to them. Scammers, cyber stalkers, etc.”
He said, “I think many people will abandon X if the harassing accounts can’t be blocked out of their life.”
Liberal journalist David Leavitt also trashed this idea, writing, “Imagine being unable to understand why someone like @elonmusk would want to block you. He is actively destroying the site bit by bit.”
Bring back the Nazis.
Let them get verified.
Put ads next to them.
And get rid of the Block feature.
What could possibly go wrong?
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) August 18, 2023
Mehdi Hazan, MSNBC’s host and a vocal critic of Musk, said that he had made yet another bad decision in regard to his social media website. He wrote: “Bring back Nazis.” Verify them. Place ads beside them. Remove the Block feature. What could go wrong?
Ashley St. Clair, a conservative influencer, said, “If you want to remove the block feature, then there must be no anonymity left on X.” It’s my understanding that Elon is a fan of anonymous accounts. If we cannot stop stalking, harassment, and threats, remove anonymity to allow recourse through the law.”
Prominent anti-Trump user David Weissman condemned the move for similar reasons, writing, “I block antisemites, and a mentally ill obsessed stalker who’s doxxed me, harasses me and exploits my children. Yet Elon Musk thinks it’s ok to let these people back in your house.”