Twitter Redefines Block as Mute, Reverses Decision - The UpStream

Twitter Redefines Block as Mute, Reverses Decision

posted Saturday Dec 14, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Twitter Redefines Block as Mute, Reverses Decision

Twitter made an interesting decision this week: to redefine a word. At some point, someone at Twitter decided that "block" would be better defined by the same qualities as "mute" and implemented changes to the system to accomplish this English language upgrade.

Previously, blocking someone would alert them, and they would no longer be able to interact with your account or any of its tweets. On Thursday, none of that was the case; instead, no alert and the "blocked" account could still interact with you, but you would no longer see it in your feed. That's better, right?

Of course not. That was a ridiculous change that no one in their right mind could ever think was a good idea, nor would anyone want or expect Twitter to function as such. Because of this obvious fact, the Internet did what the Internet does and revolted. People took to the service to run Twitter through the wringer. As a result, Twitter made an interesting decision, and did it in VERY short order.

Earlier today, we made a change to the way the "block" function of Twitter works. 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.

So: bad decision, lots of code, angry customers, decision reversed, code irrelevant. So recently after an IPO, it is not a great idea to show your new investors that you don't understand how your customers use your product or that you don't know what they want. However, it is a great opportunity to show your investors that you are willing to listen to your customers, even if after the fact, and reverse a decision for the greater good.

Whether you support the decision or not, I think we all have to congratulate Twitter on a swift and decisive act for their customers.


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