Twitter Backtracks on Privacy Change

Following an outpouring of user backlash, including an online petition that garnered more than 1,800 signatures in a matter of hours, Twitter (NYSE: TWTR  ) has backtracked on yesterday's policy change that allowed blocked users to still see tweets from the people blocking them, the company announced today in a blog.

The reason for the new, short-lived policy, according to Twitter, was that it didn't let blocked users know they were being blocked, thereby decreasing the chance of "retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends)." Twitter added in its blog that it doesn't feel the original policy (the policy that was reinstituted today) is ideal, but "we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe."

In Twitter's original statement announcing the change in its initial policy, it said blocked users cannot:

  • Add your Twitter account to their lists.
  • Have their @replies or mentions show in your mentions tab (although these Tweets may still appear in search).
  • Follow you.
  • See your profile picture on their profile page or in their timeline. 

But that short-lived policy change neglected to mention that blocked users would still be able to view tweets.


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