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Blocks on Mastodon shouldn't exist, mutes and forced unfollows are enough. Blocking someone at all is a total dick move and I lose all respect for anyone who does it.

@DashEquals Do you mean Instance-wide blocks or blocks in general.
I think blocks are pretty useful, but instance-wide blocks are total shit.

@kensp Both. Instance-wide blocks are bad for obvious reasons, but personal blocks are bad because they can break conversations. The software tries, in a very frustrating way, to avoid telling you that you're blocked, and pretends that that user simply doesn't exist.

@DashEquals I guess not everyone wants your resct 🤷

@DashEquals respect but when my keyboard doesnt quite worm

@kyzh Ah, makes sense. I'm just fed up with the way Mastodon deals with blocks.

@DashEquals this is a very odd take to see honestly. why is it a dick move to draw a firm boundary in not wanting to interact with someone, or have them interact with you? after all, even a forced unfollow and mute still can leave somebody hurling nastygrams at you.

@wigglytuffitout My problem is that it breaks conversations and allows the person to communicate before blocking you, making it appear like you chose not to respond.

@DashEquals @wigglytuffitout Sometimes I just want to be a dick to someone, and I just run out of fucks to give about it. 🤷‍♂️

@matt
Yeah, but like, the software shouldn't allow that to happen.
@wigglytuffitout

@matt @DashEquals so you're saying you don't like the feature because it stops you from antagonizing people?

in other words, it sounds like it's working exactly as intended, and the problem is that you are using harassing others as a coping mechanism and are mad that they are not being cooperative punching bags. 🤔

@DashEquals if your objection is that you don't get the last word in, i'd say that's pretty small potatoes in comparison to people drawing a reasonable boundary to keep from getting harassed.

sometimes you don't always get the last word in. this is not the end of the world. it doesn't mean that anyone ever using that block feature is using a dick move that is beyond the pale of politeness. it's the equivalent of firmly closing a door in someone's face.

@wigglytuffitout My objection is that the block "feature" should only affect the view of the blocker, not the blockee. It's not like blocking someone prevents them from seeing your profile at all (you can just visit it in the browser anonymously). An authenticated user should NEVER have a smaller view of the network than an anonymous one.

@DashEquals as someone who has been on the receiving end of harassment, that part of the block is very needed and necessary. it tells the blocked person "enough - let it go". it at least makes them go through some amount of hoops to see someone's content, and administrators can then point to that as circumnavigating a block in order to continue the fight.

it's a basic - and extremely necessary - boundary that every social network needs in this day and time.

@wigglytuffitout Once you mute them, you won't see any of their interactions, so their harassment shouldn't affect you.

@DashEquals key word there is shouldn't. they can still access your content, and in many harassment campaigns, this means access to crucial information. even if it's something as simple as "screenshots of what you just posted to trash you on their platform, fuelling mob mentality of harassment to recruit others to do that work".

blocking is a more firm and clear boundary than just muting, as well. punishments are typically a lot harsher for crossing that boundary.

@wigglytuffitout I guess, I just can't imagine being harassed to that point unless you're a public figure.

@DashEquals you lead a wonderfully charmed life LMAO

i've been there and done that for the high crime of Being A Woman Online Playing A Video Game. and i'm even white and cishet, so i don't get a lot of other additional shit.

i would urge you to seek out voices of people talking about how and why blocking tools are important to them and a necessary part of social media.

you will find that most of them aren't dicks. they're just minorities seen as "easy prey".

@wigglytuffitout OK, I guess this is just one of those things I'll have to experience to believe. I've definitely had large groups of people online mad at me before, but I would never block any of them.

@DashEquals look at it this way: just because you have the resources to deal with harassment doesn't mean everyone else does.

for many people, it is a crucial escape and a break to catch their breath. they deserve being able to draw a firm boundary and not have to deal with it. it doesn't make them wrong, and it doesn't make them assholes. it makes them people having necessary control over their social media.

@wigglytuffitout I can see that, and if we either made stronger moderation tools, or slightly lessened the abilities of blocks, I wouldn't have an issue. Currently, though, the system is frustrating and broken.

@DashEquals i've seen mobs also form for something as simple as shipping. not even spicy shipping, but "two legal adults of the same age range who met in adulthood and have an uncomplicated egalitarian relationship" shipping.

something as simple as "like to see these characters smooch" can, and will, make some people get the pitchforks and torches, pass around names, mock people, etc. etc. etc.

it... definitely happens.

@wigglytuffitout Well yeah, people on the internet can be mean. That doesn't mean I would block them.

an example for consideration; cw for sex and violence mention 

an example for consideration; cw for sex and violence mention 

@DashEquals i could just mute this hypothetical person - but i know he would still be fixating on me.

and at that point, if all i have is a mute, i have to weigh the harassment versus him knowing more information about me, and him feeding his fixation on me.

it's much less effective - he's still there not changing his habits any, and focused entirely on me.

my only real choice is to close down my account and start fresh and *hope* that *he doesn't find me again*.

@wigglytuffitout See, I'd agree, if blocks actually prevented someone from seeing your content. But since he could easily just open your profile in a new tab and see everything, it's not like the block makes him see anything less than the mute does.

@DashEquals minorities online have to play this game with great frequency.

in the absence of a block, the other only common option for drawing a firm boundary of not wanting someone to see our content is to just leave.

i think forcing people to give up their accounts if they aren't okay with harassers accessing their content is a bit more of a dick move.

you bring up a good point about how blocks need to be strengthened. but it does not mean someone using blocks is a dick.

@wigglytuffitout Yes, if blocks were strengthened (to a technologically infeasible level), I'd actually be fine with them. Otherwise, they're just a minor annoyance for harassers, and a major annoyance for everyone else.

@DashEquals it means they have one tool available to them right now.

instead of saying "you're an asshole if you try to protect yourself", you should shift out of the victim-blaming mindset and on to "hey, we need to give people tools that actually do what they think it does, so they can draw reasonable boundaries and enforce them". because that's an actually good point! and it has nothing to do with how anyone using blocks right now is a dick.

@DashEquals When mastodon gets bigger and start to have some spam bots or bots that scan your timeline to sell to ads agencies… we'll be happy to have blocks.

@narF I'd think mutes would work well enough... blocking them won't work because they'll be running on an instance that ignores blocks (as all instances should).

@DashEquals Your points might be valid against other humans (though, I'm not sure I agree with everything) but against bots? Fuck 'em!

@narF I agree there, but you can't force people to only block bots.

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