Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blocked At Every (Twitter) Turn

There are two people I know of on twitter who apparently dislike me so much, that they have decided to push the little block button so that I can’t even follow them. That seems like the ultimate in insults in twitter land. I mean, think about it for what it really says.

If you have one hundred followers but you follow only one person, you only see the one person you follow on your twitter feed, right. If you had a thousand followers and still only followed that one person, the same holds true, just the feed featuring that single person’s tweets. No matter the number of followers, this still holds true, seeing only the tweets of the people you follow, not the other way around. So to block someone from your public twitter feed seems extreme. Especially when blocking a person who doesn’t send direct messages and who makes the attempt to be courteous and respond and re-tweet as often as he can.

Should I be upset?

No, and I’m not, not really but I am confused. What is so offensive about me that someone doesn’t even want me on their follower list? Who does my presence as a follower detract from their twitter experience? I wish I knew.

I have twitter followers who follow and unfollow me repeatedly. I notice them even though I’m approaching twenty thousand twitter followers. It doesn’t bother me and neither do the spammers on my list. I never see what they write and, usually they go away as quickly as they come. And when they show up again, I respond the same way; I ignore them. I don’t block them  but I really don’t care and have no animosity towards them.

One of the people blocking me, I re-tweeted a lot before she blocked me but being re-tweeted is what most folks on twitter want. I guess she didn’t but then, why have a public account if you want to exclude folks, unless you just like having that individual power.

I know I’ve written about this in the past, but with two people blocking my account, I wonder if maybe it isn’t them, but something about me that makes the blocking legitimate and warranted.

Not knowing might be a condition I have to accept but to those two people (or more) blocking me on twitter, I apologize for any offence, real or imagined. I’d say that directly, but... you know.


Katherine Hajer said...

It may well be that they don't understand what "block" is really for. Some people have spent so much time trying to understand the more complex privacy systems on other social networks (which may or may not start with an "F") that they don't grok that everything is public on Twitter until you say it isn't.

You're nicer than I am. I do block spammers, just on the principle that I think they if they want keywords to pull, they can do it elsewhere.

MT Nickerson said...

Thank you for the comment, Katherine. I hadn't considered keywords and spammers but thinking about it, I suppose I should. Mainly I just ignore folks who seem sketchy/ spammerish but being part of a community means taking some of the responsibility of maintaining the integrity of the community.

Timothy J. Lambert said...

If I don't like what someone has to say to the point where I don't want to see it, I'll stop following them, because that also means I also don't want my name associated with theirs.

MT Nickerson said...

I agree with you, Timothy. Blocking just seems vindictive , petty and unnecessary. Just unfollow and move on.