Twitter was forced to reverse the latest changes it had introduced to the network’s blocking policy for users. Interestingly, that modification came less than 24 hours following the roll out of that new policy last Thursday (December 12).
The microblogging site updated its policy on blocking people to allow members who had been blocked by another to still see the tweets of that blocker. He could even re-tweet and favorite messages from the blocker even after the blocking action.
However, the blocker would not anymore see any interactions from the person he blocked. In turn, the blocked user would also get no clue that he had been blocked. The company said this action came with good intentions. It aimed to prevent possible retaliation from blocked users.
Incurring the public’s wrath
Twitter obviously did not expect to get public backlash from that change in policy. Moreover, it seemed to not expect any violent reactions from users that swiftly. In an instant, numerous members argued that the change is in favor of cyber stalkers and trolls, who could still easily access their victims’ Twitter content.
Just within a few hours after the new policy was introduced, the service was literally flooded with very angry and protesting users. Most of those did not fully understand the possible nuances of that new policy. There was even a well-supported online petition in an effort to force Twitter to nix the change.
Being forced to undo policy change
Thus, Twitter was forced to undo that change. It was a humbling reversal, which could be considered as among the most sensitive and controversial policy changes that the social network has ever done. For sure, Twitter would never forget the user revolt that for the first time came massively and quickly to its doorsteps as a publicly listed company. The short-lived policy has been reversed with lessons learned and a new experience for the Website.
The re-instated policy is expected to help users prevent being victimized by harassers. This would make blocked users get explicit notification that somebody from the network blocked him.
In a statement, Twitter acknowledged the feedback it received from its actual users. The social networking site reiterated that it was not its intention to implement new features that would come at the expense of users, who may have felt as if their safety was compromised.