Musk's Plan to Remove Block Feature on X Raises Concerns About Harassment
The feature is one of the last remaining shields against abuse
In 2018, Rachel Cullen began receiving new followers to her account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. A writer based in northern England, she often used the platform to promote her work, so the uptick didn’t immediately raise alarm bells. “My Twitter presence is significant enough that I initially didn't quite catch on to what was happening,” she said.
As the new followers began popping up, she says they appeared to be recently created accounts, some of which did not seem to be genuine. They would send her offensive direct messages or question her character. As she blocked and reported the accounts, more would appear. “It felt a bit like Whack-a-Mole,” she said of the experience. Though she suspected the accounts were being created by an ex-partner, the platform’s lack of identification verification made it impossible to know for sure, and she felt that the only opportunity for recourse lay within the app itself.
"It’s very difficult to prove anywhere, but at the very least I had the tools to block these accounts," she added.
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