Elon Musk announced that X will stop allowing users to block

Elon Musk said the blocking feature of X – formerly of Twitter – is being phased out, demonstrating his longstanding opposition to the basic social networking feature. “Blocking will be removed as a ‘feature’, except for DMs,” Musk said Friday in a post on X.

Elon Musk has expressed his feelings about the blocking feature over the past months. In June, Mr. Mush said that Twitter should remove the blocking feature in favor of “a stronger form of speech suppression”. Elon Musk also complained about large block lists and mass blocking campaigns against Twitter Blue subscribers. But the CEO has also been late or failed to deliver on his promises before – and removing the “block” feature could be a particularly unpopular change.

Blocking offers some very tangible benefits, helping users (especially celebrities) do anything from avoid harassment to clean up spam in replies to your posts. Surname. It’s rare that major social networks don’t offer blocking. When competitor Bluesky tested this out this spring, it became a sore point that changed almost immediately. “Blocking is a form of censorship for users,” noted Windows Central editor-in-chief Daniel Rubino after Musk’s tweet today. Mute is also a type of censorship, but muted users can still follow your posts or give unwanted replies that others see.

Musk has referred to X and Twitter as a kind of digital arena that promotes free speech by encouraging unrestricted continuous communication, so it’s no surprise he’s introduced this change. But there are questions about how it will work.

As many have noticed, both Apple and Google suggest that social networking apps need blocking: Google Play developers must provide an “in-app system to block [user-generated content].” and users” and iOS developers must provide “the ability to block abusive users from the service.” While Apple’s position on whether users should have blocking is a bit vague, a publicly posted iOS notice bluntly states that “users need a mechanism to block abusive users.” use”.

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It’s also unclear how technically difficult it would be to remove the blocking feature. Musk has complained about the stability of the old Twitter codebase while at the same time cutting staff, including core engineering team members. In addition to the initial effects of removing blocking, removing a core feature can cause unintended side effects to a site.

However, X is evolving under Musk. TweetDeck (now known as X Pro) added a premium claim earlier this week, and The Washington Post appears to have discovered the surreptitious throttling of links to Instagram, The New York Times and other sites that Musk doesn’t like it. Removing the blocking feature (or making it a paid feature) may not happen in the near future, nor may it be mentioned at all. It will take some time to know the exact answer.