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Twitter drops changes to Block function following backlash

Twitter has reverted to its old blocking policy due to a public backlash, just a day after making the original change.

This is what's known in the journalism trade as a reverse ferret. Yesterday, Twitter changed how its 'block' function works, so when you blocked someone, you could still interact with them. Well now Twitter has dropped these changes, it announced in a blog post, and reverted to how blocking worked before.

This is because of the backlash it received. People complained that when they block someone, they don't want to deal with that person again. That's why they blocked them in the first place. Still, at least it shows Twitter listens to the people who use it.

"Earlier today, we made a change to the way the 'block' function of Twitter works," the blog post reads. "We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users -- we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect."

Under the changes, if you blocked someone, they could still read your tweets, favourite them, and re-post them. In other words, they could still see what you're up to. Why? Twitter wanted to stop people knowing they'd been blocked, in an attempt to reduce the inevitable fallout in such an event. But now it's reverted to the old policy, anyone you block will get a notification telling them they're no longer welcome to your feed.

"We believe this is not ideal, largely due to the retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends) that often occurs," the blog post goes on.

"Some users worry just as much about post-blocking retaliation as they do about pre-blocking abuse. Moving forward, we will continue to explore features designed to protect users from abuse and prevent retaliation."

It's a shame blocking has to happen at all, but after Caroline Criado-Perez was deluged with rape threats for campaigning to have Jane Austen feature on the £10 note, it's obvious some people need to be blocked.

Have you ever suffered abuse on Twitter? What can be done to make it a nicer place? Let me know in the comments, or leave me a delightfully abuse-free message on our Facebook page.