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Tracy Chou's app for blocking online harassment is in beta

The engineer and tech diversity advocate is working on an app called Block Party.

Tracy Chou

Block Party founder and CEO Tracy Chou said the new app, which targets online harassment, is now taking beta testers.

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A new app by CEO and engineer Tracy Chou designed to prevent online abuse and harassment is now taking beta testers. Block Party lets you choose who you want to hear from and includes a feature that filters out anyone who's likely to send you unwanted content on Twitter. Chou shared the update Tuesday on Twitter. People can sign up for the waitlist here

Block Party also features a Lockout Folder that puts muted tweets in one place so you're less likely to miss anything important. The Helper View feature lets friends you trust look at your Lockout Folder so they can also review social media accounts. 

"Our big vision is to bring a safer online experience to everyone," Chou said in a Tuesday blog post. "I know it's not an easy problem to solve but I can't imagine anything else more meaningful for me to work on, given my unique intersection of experiences, skills, interests, and network." It's not yet clear when the app is launching. 

Chou has been an outspoken advocate for diversity in tech. In 2013, Chou, who was then a software engineer at Pinterest, wrote a Medium post demanding data on how many women held technical roles in the industry. That helped push tech companies to release diversity reports.

In October, she and former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao said during TechCrunch Disrupt that the tech industry needs to be more concerned about its impact on society. They noted that people who run tech companies appear to be more focused on generating wealth than the well-being of the people around them. Chou said tech needs to be "much more accountable to what it's doing." This includes being more active about tackling online harassment, as well as being ethical about the creation and promotion of products that can take a toll on users' health, like Juul, the diversity advocates said. 

Originally published Feb. 6, 2:38 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:42 p.m.: Adds more details about Chou and her work. Update, 3:05 p.m.: Adds quote from Chou's blog post.