Block With Abandon

Last week, my friend Jessamyn rounded up a list of Internet Resolutions from the writers of The Message, the blog/zine/thing I contribute to on Medium.

I don’t normally make New Year’s Resolutions, online or off, but I made an exception this year. Here’s mine:

“Block with abandon. I spent far too many emotional cycles last year on people arguing with me in bad faith, diving into arguments that could never be won. At some point, I stopped arguing and started blocking. I blocked hundreds of randos who insulted me or threatened people I admire— sea lions sauntering their way into my attention — and turned the Internet into something I could love again. Never. Again.”

As of today, I’ve blocked 603 accounts, the vast majority of those in the last three months.

Last month, I threw a Lazyweb request out into the ether:

Within seconds, Phil Renaud replied:

A few days later, he delivered Twitter Quicker Blocker, a Chrome add-on that does one thing beautifully: it turns blocking into a one-click process from the Twitter website. (Two weeks later, Brian Henriquez made his own as a learning exercise.)

Here’s what that looks like:

For me, this was enough to make Twitter usable again. For those facing heavier abuse and harassment, tools like Block Together, GG Auto Blocker, and The Block Bot are out there.

Ideally, Twitter would provide better tools for managing your experience and coping with Internet assholes, but until then, I’m grateful to all the devs trying to make things better.


    GG autoblocker… so you can block KFC, Hootsuite and a bunch of other accounts caught up in Randi Harper’s ridiculous scattershot ear plugging script?

    In my experience, it’s not the arguments that can’t be won that result in blocks… it’s simply the arguments that supposed “progressives” and “intellectuals” can’t win, because they’re wrong and in denial about it. Hint: patriarchy theory is not a theory on the same level as, say, relativity or quantum physics.

    This is perfect. Twitter needs to get on making a better system for getting rid of unsavory accounts, but until then this add-on is great.

    It would be great if twitter had a preference to block all robots automatically… i find myself manually blocking accounts that are clearly not coming from humans much more frequently these days.

    nice to know you move on from that sh*t, Manage your own account as well as you have much fans and haters also mean so tired.

    you’ve been in right action, let’s block all them

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