Is this part of the X’s roadmap? A hasty response? A simple attempt to get a rise out of people? Time will tell. The one thing we can say for sure is that X’s owner responded to a post on the platform today foreshadowing the potential removal of the block feature.
“Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for DMs,” Elon Musk wrote. “Makes no sense.”The message was a response to a Tesla fan account who wondered whether there was any reason to use block instead of mute.
Many users regard block as a safety measure, therefore the thought that it may go the way of the service’s former authentication system was met with outrage from concerned users.
“Twitter gives people a variety of tools to control their experience, including blocking,” the company writes on its help page. “Blocking helps people in restricting specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their Tweets, and following them. If you have been blocked by another account on Twitter, you can still block other accounts (including any that have blocked you).”
While Mute may still exist, the features have changed. A block prevents other users from engaging with, viewing, or following an account. Mute merely removes your postings from their feed. The users are not informed that they have been muted. Musk also mentions that the block feature will be retained for direct messages.
Blocking has become an increasingly essential feature for many users, as they’ve seen an uptick in spam replies on their timelines. Earlier backlash also found some users blocking X Blue/Twitter Premium accounts, as the feature began to prioritize their responses over non-paying users. Many public figures have also relied on the feature as a method of removing harassment from their feed.
It remains to be seen when — and when — the functionality is rendered obsolete. It wouldn’t be the first time Musk reversed direction prior to execution. The executive reversed course a day after announcing plans to remove the service’s light mode option, stating, “A lot of people have asked to keep light mode, so we will, but the default will be dark, and dim will be deleted.”