Elon Musk announces removal of account blocking ability on X

Elon Musk, CEO of social media giant X, has removed the protective function of blocking other accounts. The decision may threaten Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store guidelines.

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The protective function of blocking other accounts on X would be deleted, according to Elon Musk, the CEO of social media giant. However, it would still only apply to direct messages (DMs). He emphasised that hiding particular accounts from view via the mute feature will still be available.

Some state governments accuse X of not doing enough to control its material, and X’s owner is the target of critics who claim that online hate speech is on the rise. For instance, X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino praised Musk’s choice, while anti-bullying advocate Monica Lewinsky urged X to maintain the essential online safety tool. Yaccarino stressed the need to improve the condition of blocking and muting while also emphasising user security.  

The guidelines of Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store may be threatened by the new decision of company X. Apple emphasised that apps with user content must have the ability to block users who abuse it. The Google Play Store says apps must provide an in-app system to block content and user-generated content.

Why does it matter?

The decision by social media giant X to alter its account-blocking functionality raises concerns about the effectiveness of combating abusive behaviour. Blocking has been vital for users to shield themselves from harmful content and interactions, but its removal could expose users to increased harassment, bullying, and hate speech. The contrasting viewpoints from stakeholders highlight the complex balance social media platforms must maintain between fostering free expression and ensuring user safety. The potential conflict between Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store guidelines raises questions about user protection and content moderation.