Written by Nick Heer.

On Twitter, the Block Button Is Right There

Jamie Zawinski (via Jesper):

Basically, I block someone if they have said something stupid enough to make me want to hit reply and frustratedly explain it to them. We all know that there is no future in sending that reply, but as I said, the struggle is real. So instead I block them, because the chance that this person will ever say something I want to hear is… not large.

But, maybe some day Mr. Firstname Bunchanumbers dot Eth and I woulda been pals. My loss!

And those blocks happen not just for people who have replied to me. If I see your comment, and you’re a dumbass, you get a block. This sometimes leads to perplexed people saying “but he blocked me and we’ve never spoken!” So if that’s you, and it made you sad, my sympathies. But this is a matter of self-defense and one does what one must.

Over the last, say, five years, I have found myself using Twitter’s “block” button more liberally. I have qualms about the default-to-public quality of a Twitter profile, but I also sometimes converse with people who do not follow me, and I often tweet unfinished thoughts which I later reference here. So: public is fine. I also like to hear criticism or disputes with something I have written, and Twitter is a good medium for that.

However, sometimes I will see tweets from people who I simply do not wish to hear from. It does not matter whether they are likely to interact with me in the future; what matters is that I can partly control whether they have the option. So I will block them. It is nothing personal and not necessarily very effective: they can still email me, but at least it requires a little more effort.

This post also introduced me to the excellent MegaBlock service. You connect your Twitter account and then paste a link to a tweet. It will block the author of the tweet and everyone who liked it. Nice.