Musk To Remove “Block” Feature From X

Elon Musk, the owner of X, previously known as Twitter, recently announced plans to remove the platform’s block feature. His decision stems from his views on the feature, arguing it “makes no sense”.

Instead, users will only be able to prevent others from sending them direct messages. This decision has been met with a range of reactions from users and industry experts alike.

“Block is going to be deleted as a ‘feature’, except for DMs,” Musk stated in a post on X. This isn’t the first time Musk has shared this sentiment. In June, he expressed the opinion that blocking should be replaced by “a stronger form of mute”.

Concerns Over User Safety

One of the primary worries expressed by users is the potential increase in online harassment. The block feature serves as a protective tool for many, allowing them to shield themselves from unwanted interactions.

The Auschwitz Memorial voiced their concerns, stating: “Failing to address the antisemitic and Holocaust denial comments that appear under our posts commemorating the victims of Auschwitz would be a disservice to their memory. We’ve chosen to block users who promote denial and hatred.”

Others believe that while muting can hide unwanted posts, it doesn’t prevent the muted account from viewing or responding to the muter’s content. One user said it would be a “huge mistake” to remove the blocking feature due to the presence of “toxic people” on the platform.

The App Store Dilemma

Another layer to this debate is whether the removal of the block feature might breach terms and conditions of app stores. Both Apple and Google have conditions that suggest social media apps should allow users to fend off harassment or bullying.

If Musk’s decision goes against these requirements, X might face challenges in remaining available on these stores.

A Series of Changes

Since acquiring Twitter for $44bn and renaming it X, Musk has introduced several changes. Among them were the introduction of a charge for the site’s verification feature and a restructuring of the company’s executive team.

Despite his claims and posts on X, it can sometimes be tricky to discern the seriousness of his intentions, given Musk’s reputation for spontaneous ideas and posts on the platform.