Recently Elon Musk made a statement on his X (formerly known as Twitter) account saying that the block feature would soon be completely removed from the platform. This was received with very harsh backlash, with many key points explaining why this is bad. I have some points of my own to contribute to this current debate.
*It breaks the rules. The App Store and Google Play Store REQUIRE social media apps to have a feature to block users and failure to do so will be in violation of said guidelines, resulting in the app being taken down.
*It hurts other people. Musk has been a “free speech advocate” and has made many attempts to fix the concept of free speech online, and many have pointed this latest announcement to his own ideas of what free speech should look like. But instead, it promotes more spam content and hate speech due to the lack of filtering. One user put it as, “If I lock the door of my house, that doesn’t intrude on your free speech. You have the freedom to talk — I have the freedom to not listen.”
*What does it do? Blocking accounts/users from being viewed by you or interacted with you has always been one of those unquestionable mechanics in almost any app or game, so suddenly deleting the feature does nothing but harm the app’s audience… except of course for the amount of online attention this has gotten.
I hope this app gets cleaned up soon.
Will you still be on X?
By Ezan Charo, Senior, ChiArts
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