If you are one of the millions of people who just needed a final push to delete that ugly X app from your phone once and for all, you just got it.
As CNBC reports:
The ability of a user to block content from undesired followers has long been seen as a key security feature to avoid harassment and exposure to spam or hateful posts.
It's an announcement that puts the online safety of millions of users at risk simply to benefit the small minority of Musk-friendly "blue check" accounts who are benefiting from his new monetization strategy.
As formerly banned extremists, trolls and crypto scammers continue to run riot on X, the blocking feature has been an essential tool for many users, especially those being actively harassed, insulted, intimidated and threatened.
While Musk will still allow users to "mute" people in a conversation, muting only shields the original tweeter from the abuse. It lets the rest of the world see the harassing comment and pile on if they want to.
Since Musk abandoned legitimate verification and fired the staff responsible for trust and safety, the "blue check" has been turned into a mark of shame.
Coordinated hashtag campaigns have encouraged users to #blocktheblue, but now, in true dictator fashion, Musk is promising to overrule people's personal preferences to impose his own.
Whether he follows through with the plan or not doesn't even matter.
As Aisha Counts wrote for Bloomberg Technology yesterday (based on the X-related outrage that occurred before today's new outrage): "Musk has a predictable pattern of silencing, threatening or mocking anyone who disagrees with him... As long as Musk remains the gatekeeper, X can’t be a true town square."
If you haven't ditched Twitter already, today's a good time to do it. At minimum, take your account private and stop tweeting.
Above all, never respond to a "blue check" tweeter who is actively trying to piss you off.
If you're sick of looking at the app on your phone, today's a good time to X-it.
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