Tech Blog

Why Blocking People on Twitter Is Pointless

by Blogger on ‎06-03-2009 09:51 AM - last edited on ‎09-10-2009 04:53 PM by Moderator

I am a Twitterholic.  It's true. 

 

If you follow me on Twitter you'll notice that I have a tendency to plug the Twitterfon, Tweetdeck and Twitteriffic apps directly to my brain and download the information directly to the web as soon as it passes my synapses.

That can be annoying to some, but don't try to block me.  It's pointless.  I've tried to block Twitterstalkers myself, but the effort is an exercise in futility.

First let's flip over to the Twitter FAQ and find out what the little birdie has to say about blocking:

If you block someone, they wont be able to follow you or send you any messages.  If your account is public, they'll still be able to view it, but they wont show up on your followers list, and you wont be on their following list.  If it's a spammer you're blocking, thanks!  Twitter Support keeps an eye on block reports to see who's getting in trouble on Twitter.


Actually they can still send you messages, they just can't send you direct messages.  And that's part of the problem of blocking someone one Twitter, you're not really blocking them at all.

 

I CAN STILL SEE YOU

 

Let's say you have a harassing follower, someone who constantly @'s you and creates pointless arguments and is always getting up in your grill, as it were. Even if you block them, they can still @ you.  The tweets they post will still show up in your stream, they'll still be searchable, they'll still be attached to your id.

Heck, even if you become so agitated that you block the TwitterTroll, they can still acess your full Twitter stream.  All they need to do is log out of Twitter and point their browser at your account page (twitter.com/username).  Since they're not logged in to Twitter, the site doesn't recognize them as blocked and they're free to search and see all that you've posted.

They can even access your RSS feed. Yes, even if you've blocked a TwitterTroll, simply by logging out of the site, they can not only see everything you write, they can subscribe to it and view every.single.thing you post.  This is where the @'ing comes in.  Even though you think you've blocked them off your page, they're still seeing everything you're posting and are able to engage in your conversations even though you don't want them to. Sure, they can't DM you, but the worse part is they can comment however they want in the public channels.

 

zacharietwitter.jpgLOCK THE DOOR

 

There is only one true way to lock someone out of your Twitter stream that you don't want to have access to it.  Make it private.  Put the lock and key icon on your profile, keep it a walled garden and only give access to those you know, like and respect.  Some say this contravenes the "spirit" of social media, but in the end, it's the only way to rid yourself of the prying twittering eyes of the trolls.

There is one final recourse, that being section 4 of Twitter's Terms of Service: "You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Twitter users."  If someone is being truly abusive, report them to Twitter support and they will deal with it.

However, if someone is just being a plain old pain the butt - you've got nothing left to do but lock up the store.

catch the buzz ... pass it on.

 

 

Message Edited by ElizabethS on 09-10-2009 08:53 PM

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