Two big names in tech have introduced changes to "block" features, one service adding the ability to block and the other taking it away.
As part of his never-ending tinkering with the platform, Elon Musk announced on Friday that Twitter users, or X as it is now, will no longer have the ability to block individual accounts. Musk went so far as to say that feature "makes no sense."
Musk instead suggested using the mute feature, which simply removes a user's posts from your own timeline while blocking keeps that account from seeing your posts. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey seemed to agree with the decision, posting a 100% emoji and adding "mute only."
The ability to block an individual from DMing will remain, something X called useful if users are being harassed, threatened, or stalked. Users can set their account to private to ensure that only followers can view their content, but that limits the potential reach.
It's not clear when the feature will be removed, but it was still active as of Monday morning. It's also not certain what will happen to currently blocked users. Are there simply no more blocks being added, or will blocked users suddenly be able to interact with their blockers again?
Twitch, however, went the opposite direction, adding a new feature that lets streamers block specific individuals from viewing their stream. A chat ban feature has long been in place, but the new block option ensures that a troublesome viewer can't even watch.
That feature should be available in the next few weeks, but it won't be the default option for banned users -- streamers will have to manually change that within their mod settings.
In the Patch Notes post announcing the new feature, Trevor Fisher, the company's senior project manager, noted that "people want their bans to do more," adding that users had been requesting this option for a while and that it could just be the first step in a bigger answer down the road.
Twitch doesn't have plans to implement IP blocking, meaning all a user has to do is change accounts, but it's still nice to see the platform take anti-harassment measures.