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Elon Musk to eliminate the 'block' feature on X, receives heavy pushback

Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images

Social media platform X erupted on Friday after CEO Elon Musk suggested the "block" feature on the site would soon become a thing of the past. He did not give a justification for why he felt this was the best decision for the platform.

X user Tesla Owners Silicon Valley asked whether there was "ever a reason to block vs mute someone," to which Musk replied that the ability to block someone on the platform was on its way out, except in direct messages.

Musk followed up the comment with a second post, saying blocking "makes no sense." However, it appears many X users do not agree with Musk's decision to disallow the ability to block users on the site. This comes shortly after individuals expressed their discontent about Musk's decision to rebrand what was previously known as Twitter to X.

The Mises Caucus, a libertarian non-profit organization, responded to Musk's comment, cheekily saying "let chaos reign," adding that X would soon be a corner of the internet where "porn bots and dweebs will have free roam."

The decision to do away with blocking accounts has raised questions about users' ability to moderate their own feeds, given that the platform pushes accounts to users' feeds even though they don't follow said accounts. If Musk follows through with his statement, it could represent a move that further restricts user control over what they see on the platform.

Another user commented that the "freedom to disassociate is just as important as the freedom to associate." Even those who have stood by Musk's takeover of the social media platform have offered up their reasonings for why taking away the block feature could prove detrimental to the brand, resulting in a possible exodus from the site.

Culture Crave posted: "Even your biggest diehards are in the replies here saying this is a bad decision. [...] Muting doesnt stop bots, trolls, and promoters from spamming replies If this is because people block ads, then make it so clients have to do a minimum amount of spend per month to keep their ads from being blocked."

Wall Street Silver said that the erasure of the block feature "is a huge mistake," adding that "block is a critical peace of mind issue for many people because it generally gets the cyber stalkers to move on."

Musk has previously appealed to the platform's users on large decisions concerning the platform, asking what he should do. But he has not yet offered users a vote on this issue.

Erik Hoel noted that removing the feature would encourage "the worst and craziest behavior," noting that there "are legitimately insane people on here who, even if you just have a small audience, will stalk and harass you, replying to every single post. Not being able to block is literally unsafe."

Musk's small concession to X users is that they will "still be able to mute accounts." But for many users, this is not enough.

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