Tag Archives: blocking

Twitter Restores Block Functionality

Twitter logoTwitter very recently made a change to what happens when a user blocks another one. After receiving lots of feedback, Twitter announced that it was going to restore block functionality back to the way that it originally was. It kind of surprised me how quickly Twitter responded to user feedback on this issue.

Previous to this whole situation, a person who has a Twitter account could chose to block another user. Doing so prevented that other user from being able to contact them. A person who had been blocked could not:

* Follow the person who had blocked them
* Retweet anything from the person who blocked them
* Send a Tweet to a person who blocked them
* Send a direct message to a person who blocked them
* Read the Tweets of the person who blocked them (at least, not directly through their blocked account)

Twitter briefly instituted a change to its block functionality. In short, the new change would have worked more like a “mute” instead of a block. You block a person who is harassing you. The new change would mean you would no longer see anything that person tweeted. But, it would no longer prevent that blocked user from contacting you, retweeting your tweets, or sending you direct messages.

Lots of people on Twitter were very upset by this change. I saw tweets about it that included #RestoreTheBlock. For many people, Twitter felt a lot less safe. The new change meant that the people you blocked (so you could avoid their harassment) could go ahead and continue to threaten you.

Twitter responded by putting the block functionality back to what it was before the (brief) change. Part of Twitter’s blog about this situation notes that they want people to feel safe while using their platform.

It appears that part of the reason why they made the change was because Twitter was getting feedback from users who had been blocked – and who were angry about it. Twitter appears to have made the change to prevent “post-blocking retaliation”.

The new change would have prevented a blocked user from realizing that he or she had been blocked. Unfortunately, it would also have made Twitter unsafe for the person who did the blocking. Kudos to Twitter for its rapid response to users feedback about their desire to have the block functionality restored!

Stop Texting While Driving with tXtBlocker

tXt Blocker is a great product for any parent who have teenagers who like to text while driving. tXt Blocker has two parts first is administrative end which is on the web, the second part is an application which is downloaded to the phone. The parent or supervisor then goes into the administrative zone on the web site and sets up the rules. They can include things such as no texting while the car is moving. No texting in a certain geographic area, such as a school or church.
The system uses the internal GPS and cell phone tower triangulation to determine where the phone is and how fast it is moving. If the phone receives a text while the phone is in motion, or a blocked zone that message is sent to the phones database until the phone has reached a “safe state”. If a call comes into the phone, while it is moving or in a zone that is blocked the call goes to the voice mail, which informs the caller that the person is driving and can’t answer their call at this time. The administrator can set up a safe-list which allows calls from certain people to get through. 911 calls are automatically on the safe list.

The system is currently available for 6.99 a month for an individual and 9.99 a month for a family plan and it works on Blackberry, Android and is coming later this year to both iPhone and Windows Phone 7 Mobile. There is a customizable option for business available. tXt Blocker is available at Best Buy through the tXt Blocker Website

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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