Elon Musk, the owner of social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, announced on Friday that the firm would get rid of a security feature that allowed users to block other accounts. This is yet another contentious change for the business he acquired last year.
Block is going to be deleted as a “feature”, except for DMs
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 18, 2023
A user of X can prevent certain accounts from contacting them, seeing their postings, or following them by using the block function.
Except for direct messaging, Musk stated in a post on the site that “Block” would be removed as a “feature”.
The mute function, which prevents users from viewing certain accounts but, unlike blocking, does not notify the other account of the activity, was maintained, according to him.
The wealthy owner has referred to himself as an ardent supporter of free speech, but some have criticized his attitude as being reckless. Since he took over, researchers have discovered a rise in hate speech and antisemitic material on the platform, and some governments have charged the firm with not doing enough to control its content.
Blocking users can violate policies established by Apple’s App Store and Alphabet’s Google Play if the block feature is removed or restricted.
Apple mandates that apps that employ user-generated content be able to prohibit users who are abusive. According to Google Play Store, apps must have a system in place within the app for restricting user-generated content and users.
Requests for comment from X, Google, and Apple did not immediately receive a response.
Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino supported Musk’s action in response to a post from anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinsky pleading with X to maintain the “critical tool to keep people safe online.”
Our users’ safety on X is our number one priority. And we’re building something better than the current state of block and mute. Please keep the feedback coming. https://t.co/ekIvyOhRqQ
— Linda Yaccarino (@lindayaX) August 19, 2023
“Our top focus is ensuring the safety of our users on X. And we’re developing a replacement for block and mute that will be better. Please keep the comments coming, Yaccarino wrote in his piece.
According to the business, Yaccarino would oversee all other teams, including legal and sales, while Musk would oversee the product and engineering teams.