Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) recently revealed a new tool to curb the online harassment headache by allowing a user to download a list of blocked Twitter members in Excel-readable CSV data format.
The information can be obtained from one account and then loaded onto another account. According to an announcement from Twitter’s user safety engineer, Xiaoyun Zhang, the company identifies the need to bring in much-needed tools for users who usually encounter unnecessary attention on the social network.
Despite the idea having a lot of weight, and the intentions being right, it will be extremely difficult for the company to implement. The fact that it is called “shared blocking” raises a series of concerns such as the lack of a sharing platform. Instead, the CSV file is available, and it ramps up the volume at which users can be blocked.
Sharing will take place through a third party service such as Pastebin, email attachments or Dropbox. They can even be transferred using a USB flash drive. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is using the same concept that messenger had adopted when it used to force users to transfer contacts to deferent computers. It is particularly peculiar because Twitter already blocks access by other apps and scripts. This means developers can use a series of controlled actions to block users.
There are third party blocking tools that have already been developed. Some of them seem more powerful and well-constructed than Twitter’s built-in blocking features. Jacob Hoffman-Andrews the senior staff technology expert at Electronic Frontier Foundation premiered the Block app during the summer of 2014. He also released a Twitter app option that he claims is more superior to the social networking company’s version.
The abuse prevention features still lack some aspects that will render it more efficient. The company still has a long way to go before it can prefect the features in line with its actual vision.
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