BNR – Social media enterprise X, is set to retire a key feature that allows users to block other accounts. This decision comes as owner Elon Musk steers the company in a new direction, a move that has ignited debates.
Musk, who took over X last year, revealed this development on Friday, marking another intriguing shift for the platform.
The block functionality, commonly utilised by users to shield themselves from specific accounts will no longer be part of X.
Musk announced this through a post on the platform, making it clear that the block feature will be phased out. However, the feature will remain available for Direct Messages (DMs). The mute function will also remain intact, allowing users to keep certain accounts off their feed sections.
Debate Arises Over Elon Musk’s Emphasis on Free Speech
Elon Musk, a prominent entrepreneur and billionaire, has often upheld his stance as a strong advocate of free speech. However, his approach has drawn criticism with concerns raised about a rise in hate speech and offensive content. Some governments have also raised questions about the platform’s content moderation.
This alteration in X’s functionality may also pose challenges with platforms like Apple’s App Store and Alphabet’s Google Play. Both stores have established criteria for applications with user-generated content, mandating the ability to block abusive users.
Block Feature Necessary for Preventing Bullying
Elon Musk’s announcement found response from anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinsky, who urged X to retain the block feature.
In defence of Musk’s decision, Chief Executive Linda Yaccarino emphasised that user safety remains a top priority. Yaccarino acknowledged the feedback from users and expressed the company’s commitment to crafting a better solution than the existing features.
Musk is leading the product and engineering teams and Yaccarino is overseeing other crucial sectors like legal and sales. Under their leadership, the platform’s transformation continues to unfold, reshaping the contours of social media as we know it.