You are blocked

Submitted by Robert MacLean on Sun, 08/30/2020 - 11:54

For the last 4 months I have taken what could be seen as extreme; blocking a few hundred thousand people on Twitter. This has led, in the last week to a few people asking or pointing out that they are blocked and wondering why I chose them.

The reality is I probably did not block them, I blocked someone else (lets call them the aggressor) and using a tool I wrote, I block the agressor and all their followers and so while I've actively blocked a few hundred agressors it balloons to hundreds of thousands of followers.


Twitter, is for me, a place I go to hang out with people I like, to learn from them and hear their stories. Twitter, for me, is my cocktail party; except it is getting gatecrashed by the altright, racism, sexism, and nationalists. People I do not want at my cocktail party. It has caused me to have too many shitty experiences so I now have a bouncer.

I have taken the view that if someone follows a problem, the chance that they are problematic themselves is higher than I am willing to risk. It is not consistant, actually the larger the the account less likely it is to be accurate. Donald Trump is a beautiful example, so many people follow him for some many reasons that while I do not agree with Trump, to block all his followers is not going to work.

Still visible

Twitter block is lovely in that you can still view my thoughts, just open a private tab in your browser. It merely makes the cost to interact with me higher - which is ideal, increasing the cost means that either someone needs to be determined to be a jerk, easier to manage, or they really value the interaction. I can handle those edge cases easier.


Why not make my account private? I tried this but it makes engagement impossible; it is not a good long term plan.


The "engage me" crowd like to say blocking creates echo chambers where you cannot learn anything and I agree if someone does this everywhere - but Twitter is merely one of many places I engage and learn. I choose to have Twitter be fun and a cocktail party. I choose other places to learn.

You may have different views for how you use Twitter and that is great for you and we will agree to disagree.


Want to be unblocked? Drop me an email or get someone I know to DM me and check who you follow since you are influenced by the people you spend with, so do not spend time with horrible people.