Throughout the Twitter week I get lots of rogue messages from spambots and other ne’er-do-wells who I then immediately block. You know, this kind of thing:
What I thought would be a neat implementation from Twitter would be a facility that alerted all the members of my network each time I – or anybody else in that network – blocked somebody, and more importantly why.
This would have to be opt-in, as not everybody cares. But perhaps when you block somebody Twitter should ask you for a reason. It could be a drop down list of choices (spammer, retweet bot, etc) and an ‘other’ option where you could wax a little more lyrically.
When this was completed, everybody who ticked the box within that network would be sent a direct message saying
@username just blocked @troublemaker because reason
@sheamus just blocked @BeverleyBestg because "it's a spambot."
You could then click on the person I’ve blocked, check them out yourself, and block where necessary.
I could do this manually, but sometimes publically stating why you’ve blocked somebody is not always appropriate, and not everybody will care, as said. And publishing a big list of blocked users is of no interest to anybody but the person who created it.
Moreover, by actually asking us for a reason when we block, Twitter could get a rough indication of problem areas within the network. We know spam is already a big issue, but there’s no real indication how much of a problem trolls are on Twitter. Or stalkers. Or good, old-fashioned weirdos. Many of us have had bad experiences with individuals on other networks – that knowledge could be passed over to everybody else.
Of course, it’s all relative. One man’s guru is another man’s con artist. And likely there will be cases where somebody would use the block system to defame another’s good reputation. And that’s why it’s always important that you check these things out yourself before deciding to make what should be a fairly considered decision to block somebody.