On Wednesday the company announced an export feature for block lists, allowing them to be shared among Twitter users. The result might be a sort of community-wide blacklist for problematic accounts—a solution far superior to the current approach, which essentially leaves individual users to fend for themselves in an endless game of troll whack-a-mole.
Starting today we're rolling out a change to make sharing lists of blocked accounts easy: https://t.co/3kdks4KKX9
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2015
The approach isn’t altogether innovative: a third party made a public database for block lists called Block Together last fall. Twitter explained the move in a blog post about the update:
“Mute and block are tools to help you control your Twitter experience. While many users find them useful, we also recognize that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools.”
It’s high time that Twitter acknowledge the difficulties for high-profile users (i.e. high-profile harassment targets) as they try to safely navigate the network’s very public, very anonymous waters. Allowing users to band together to create block lists isn’t a final solution, but it’s certainly an improvement.
Illustration by Max Fleishman