Last Updated 14 | 12 | 2013 at 13:21

Business & Technology

Twitter backtracks on blocking changes

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di-ve.com news
editorial@di-ve.com

Twitter has reversed changes it made to how people block other users, less than a day after they were introduced.

The changes allowed blocked users to continue to see tweets and interact with accounts that had blocked them, leading to an outcry. Twitter said it was reverting to old rules, under which users are not able to follow an account once blocked. Blocking is used by people to stop trolls and rude online commentators from interacting with them.

"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," Michael Sippey, Twitter's vice-president of product, said in a blog post. "Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect."

There have been calls for Twitter to do more to counter cyberbullying following a number of high-profile cases of trolling, where users of the social networking site were bombarded with threats and abuse. The firm recently introduced a "report Tweet" button to try to combat the problem.

Mr Sippey said that Twitter's initial decision to change the way blocking works was a further attempt to prevent abuse, by ensuring that users did not know they had been blocked by someone. He said blocked users, and sometimes even their friends, often retaliated against the people who had blocked them, resulting in increased bullying.

"Some users worry just as much about post-blocking retaliation as they do about pre-blocking abuse," he explained. He added that Twitter "will continue to explore features designed to protect users from abuse and prevent retaliation".

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