Elon Musk says Twitter block feature will be dropped on X platform

Owner of social media platform claims blocking 'makes no sense' despite users experiencing hate speech and other abuse

The logo for X, formerly known as Twitter, seen on a smartphone screen. AFP
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Elon Musk on Friday posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the “block” feature will soon no longer be available for users, brewing much online conversation by users upset about the change.

The billionaire owner of the social media platform said the block feature “makes no sense”, despite users experiencing hate speech, misinformation and harassment.

Mr Musk said that users will “still be able to mute accounts and block users” from direct messaging.

However, there is a difference between muting and blocking accounts: muting removes the muted account's posts from one's own feed, while not unfollowing them. And muting does not stop an account from interacting, viewing or sharing one's posts, whereas blocking prevents all that.

When Mr Musk posted about the change, the top trending topics on X in the US led with Elon Musk and posts about muting. It also featured Twitter alternatives including Threads, Spoutible, Mastodon and Bluesky.

Users also pointed out that Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store required that apps include features that allowed the blocking of other accounts or users.

It is not yet known if Mr Musk's change will be addressed by the app platforms.

Updated: August 18, 2023, 6:34 PM