It appears that Reddit is working on making itself a nicer place to visit. The company has expanded its “block user” feature. This change was made at around the same time Reddit launched its new mobile app.
The Reddit announcement about the improved “block user” feature starts by pointing out that Reddit is a place “where virtually anyone can voice, ask about, or change their views on a wide range of topics, share personal, intimate feelings, or post cat pictures.” It goes on to acknowledge that this openness can lead to “less awesome stuff like spam, trolling, and worse, harassment.”
It turns out Reddit already had a “block user” feature. It was limited to apply only to private messages. The updated “block user” feature can be used to block users that reply to you in comment replies (in addition to private messages). All you need to do is click the “block user” button while viewing the reply from your inbox.
From that point on, the profile of the blocked user, along with all their comments, posts, and messages, will then be completely removed from your view. You will no longer be alerted if they message you further. As before, the block is completely silent to the blocked user.
In short, Reddit is making an effort to give users the ability to decide for themselves what kind of experience they want from Reddit. Or, as the Reddit post says: Our changes to user blocking are intended to let you decide what your boundaries are, and to give you the option to choose what you want – or don’t want – to be exposed to. The announcement encourages people to report harassment to Reddit’s community team.
Blocking a user means you won’t see anything else that user posts, but the blocked user will still be able to see everything you post publicly on Reddit. The expanded “block user” feature cannot be used to block entire subreddits and have them removed from your sight. It appears that that Reddit is planning on making more improvements. The announcement ends with: These are just our first steps toward improving the experience of Reddit, and we’re looking forward to announcing many more.