Block Party’s Anti-Harassment Twitter Tool Suspends Operation

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sunny hassan kk1rnherp5g unsplash scaled.jpg

Block Party’s Anti-Harassment Twitter Tool Suspends Operation

Block Party announced in their latest blog that their anti-harassment tool on Twitter, which has protected users for the last 4 years, is going off on an indefinite hiatus starting May 31.

We’re heartbroken that we won’t be able to help protect you from harassers and spammers on the platform, at least for now; we fought very hard to stay, and we’re so sorry that we couldn’t make it happen.Block Party Blog Post

The post also revealed that in the last four years, they have been able to successfully block millions of troll accounts on Twitter. It’s safe to say that Block Party’s departure will be a huge blow to Twitter users. It’ll be hard to maintain a safe and respectful environment for all, especially minority groups.

So What Will The App Look Like Now?

Those who already have the app will still be able to view it. However, after they log in, everything will be in read-only mode. Users will neither be able to use their lockout filters nor work on the block lists.

Although it wasn’t explicitly mentioned in the blog, it’s assumed that the reason behind this sudden departure is Twitter’s paid API access. Before Elon Musk took over Twitter, the social media platform provided free API access to all developers, researchers, and students.

The details of the changes have been discussed in their website’s FAQ section.

However, since Musk acquired the company, he has been looking for ways to maximize Twitter’s revenue. In doing so, he added an expensive paywall to Twitter’s API, driving many tools that couldn’t afford the new subscription-free out of business.

This isn’t the first time a tool had to bid farewell. It started with the closing of “Toolbox” which showed the work of third-party developers. Soon after, popular third-party apps such as Twitterific and Tweetbot stopped working all of a sudden. The paywall was just the final nail in the coffin, driving away all third-party tools.

Thankfully, Block Party isn’t in the same boat. Although their Twitter tool had to close down, the company is still up and going. The company is still working on other safety products, Privacy Party being one of them.

It’s a new browser extension that will help you deal with digital threats like cyberbullying, harassment, fraud, impersonation, spam, and so on. The tool is yet to go public. Currently, it’s available in the alpha mode to existing Block Party users.

If you aren’t an existing Privacy Party user but still want to try it, you can join their access waitlist.

Speaking of safety on Twitter, there are hardly any other third-party tools left. But Block Party advised the users to adjust their account settings to enable at least some level of protection.

For example, you can choose to mute notifications from accounts that:

  • You don’t follow
  • Doesn’t follow you
  • Have been recently opened
  • Did Not confirm their email
  • Are still using the default profile photo
  • Haven’t confirmed their phone numbers

Although these steps won’t be nearly as efficient as Block Party’s tool, it’s still somewhere to begin.

The blog also read that this isn’t the first time they have faced a challenge in making the internet safe for everyone. Hence, they have requested the users who want to support them to talk about the tool and this event on Twitter. As stated clearly in their blog, they don’t trust social media platforms to do the right thing for user security.

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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise