Monday, December 16, 2013

Twitter withdrew the change of block function

A few days ago, Twitter changed a function of its application. But it immediately put back to the original one. Twitter decided to withdraw the change just four hours after its introduction.

TNW: Twitter’s new policy lets blocked users can follow and read your tweets [Update: U-turn]

BBC: Twitter backtracks on blocking changes

The argued function is "blocking". In previous function, blocked person could not display the blocker's tweets on his timeline. Twitter changed the style completely. In the new scheme, blocker would no more see the activities of the person whom he blocked, however blocked person could keep following the blocker's tweets. This new function is to be so called "mute" instead to "blocking".

This change was widely criticized by users. Twitter mentioned that it responded to the users' voice to put back the function.

The original purpose of the change was for the blocker to keep unnoticed the thing by the user who was blocked. Twitter attempted to avoid that the blocker would be attacked much more due to the fact of blocking. I think that the opinion of Twitter is reasonable.

To begin with, Tweets are visible for any people unless the tweets are locked. Thus, there is no way not to show his activities to a person who dislikes him. Blocking has no power to prevent any annoying behaviors. On the other hand, it is easy for a user not to see the tweets he dislikes. The new blocking system would offer the function to shut out these kinds of tweet.

Why was this change unacceptable for many users?

To be honest, I could predict vast disagreement against this change. Most users are accustomed to the current function of Twitter. Twitter is quite a simple application. So even minimal changes are paid attention to. Some users are so conservative that they refuse to change. In addition, aggressive image of previous blocking is strong, especially for long-term users. Twitter might have misunderstood the emotion of users.

An established rule is hardly changed, regardless of its rationality. I am afraid that Twitter will have difficulty to grow up more.

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