Slight ramblings…

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To block? Or not to block

March 1st, 2012 · No Comments

Ron Paynter recently asked me about blocking people on twitter and when people should block. I think it a great question so I promised Ron a blog on the topic.
The first thing you should know is that there are no set rules around blocking, it very much personal preference.

I do try to block as little as I can. Basicly what you are doing is stopping yourself from seeing what another account is tweeting and there are genrally 3 different levels of doing this:

Unfollow: The first is a simple unfollow. Its easy to do, fast and I usually do it when I follow and account and a start to disagree with what they continuiously tweet out, start becoming continuiously rude or continuiously annoying or I follow and account that doesnt follow me and I dont find continuious value in their tweets anymore* (I would have once valued them hence following them in the first place) *That last point sounds very up myself, and I dont insist people follow me at all, just that they provide value to me if I follow them, If they tweet about things that dont interest me anymore makes it an easy decision.
The one thing you will notice about the above post is the word “continuiously” You need to make sure that the account you followed isnt just having a bad day, think about their tweets over the last month or so, read back through them if you want, you may just find that it was a one off thing, and if you do feel upset etc about a tweet there is no reason you can tweet and ask that person to expand on their point more!

Block: The next step up from the unfollow is the block. I block people who always bully or harass people online or turn in to Trolls on certain subject matter I dont want to see them in my twitter feed! Now Blocking does two things
It unfollows you from the account you have blocked (and vice versa)
It also stops you from seeing most* tweets from that account that you have blocked
*An important thing to remember is that just because you have blocked someone, it does not mean that you will never see a tweet from them again. You will still see tweets from accounts you have blocked if they have included a hashtag and you are searching for that certain hashtag on twitter or you follow someone that RT’s something the account you have blocked has tweeted

Block & Report Spam: The final step is a Block & Report Spam. The only time I do this is when I get an @ reply or am followed by a troll or a spambot program)
This blocks the account (as above) but it also flags the account with the Twitter safety team to look at the account and determine if the account is really a spam account. The more reports for spam the account gets the higher on teh list it goes for checking. I encourange any one that has spambots following or tweeting to them to report it as spam. The account will get shut down if it ist is deemed to be spam, they take in to consideration things like how many followers you have, how many tweets you have sent, your profile and various other things

So there you have it, a small little giude to the differences of unfollowing and blocking
The one thing I really want to hit home is that its your own personal decision on when and if to unfollow or block an account, no one elses
You may have different opionions to what I say here, which is great, leave a comment and tell me what you would or have done differently, or if there is something you want to know a bit more about or have a topic suggestion for me to blog on leave me a comment too!

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