Elon Musk intends to eliminate the account-blocking feature on X (previously referred to as Twitter), except for direct messages, asserting that the current implementation lacks coherence. This strategic decision has garnered support from the former CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey.
Under the banner of X, a social media enterprise that was once known as Twitter, a forthcoming modification entails the removal of a safeguarding mechanism permitting users to hinder interactions from other accounts. This noteworthy announcement was made by Elon Musk on a recent Friday, marking yet another contentious pivot for the company he acquired the previous year. The existing block functionality on X empowers users to selectively impede certain accounts from initiating contact, accessing their posts, or becoming followers.
In a post on the platform, Musk declared that the “Block” feature will be eliminated, with the exception of direct messaging. He clarified that X will continue to offer the mute function, a tool that shields users from content produced by designated accounts. Unlike the block function, muting operates discreetly without notifying the other account involved.
While Musk has positioned himself as a staunch advocate of unfettered expression, his stance has faced criticism for its perceived recklessness. Scholars have observed a surge in hate speech and antisemitic material on the platform since his takeover, prompting several governments to accuse the company of inadequate content moderation.
In response to Musk’s announcement, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey offered his support for the decision. However, Dorsey proposed a more limited approach, suggesting the inclusion of a mute option exclusively. It’s important to note that the functionalities of Block and Mute diverge significantly. Blocking prevents other users from initiating communication, accessing your posts, or becoming followers, whereas muting merely conceals your posts from their view. Importantly, individuals remain unaware when they have been muted.
The removal of the block feature might result in undesirable engagements, a rise in harassing behavior, an influx of spam, privacy apprehensions, and a potential erosion of user autonomy. If Musk opts to eliminate the block functionality, prominent profiles such as those of politicians and celebrities could encounter significant challenges. This decision could render them unable to mitigate the onslaught of unjustifiable animosity directed their way.