At some point in the history of internet people discovered online harassment, and it was a slippery slope from there. Now, that doesn’t mean we have to resign with how things are, which is why Reddit, the social news networking service, has taken some steps in the right direction.
In an attempt to temper revenge porn on the platform and change its reputation as a cesspool for harassment, Reddit has announced on Wednesday that it added new block tools.
Reddit is notorious for fighting for undiluted “free speech” and for the fact that the administration has been mostly off-hands, allowing the platform to create a toxic culture with no respect for other users.
Even though the “block user” feature had been around for a while, the old tool could only be used in private messages. Thanks to the update, users will be able to block those who act inappropriately from replies and comments, as well.
When a new response pops into your inbox, you can choose the “Block User” button, should you consider the comment unsuitable for the conversation. This action will remove messages, replies, comments, and posts from that user and you will no longer see them.
Some exceptions have been allowed, however. Logged-in admins will still be able to see messages and replies, even those that were blocked. Plus, if you are the moderator of a subreddit, you will be the only one to see blocked users and content.
After interim CEO, Ellen Pao, stepped down last year in a user revolt, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman took the helm and started making small steps in curbing harassment, such as banning racist subreddits.
This new block tool won’t prevent people from replying to your messages and comments. It’s a lot like Twitter’s block option that still allows users to reply to a tweet; their replies simply won’t be displayed to that user.
This update is part of a larger effort that Reddit has embarked on to take drastic measures to make the site more user-friendly. A lot of abusive and offensive subreddits had been banned since last year when Huffman took over.
A lot of users disagreed with the controversial changes, arguing that Reddit thrives the most when free speech is allowed in its communities.
The administration expects the new user block feature to be met with similar pushback from outspoken Reddit users, although early feedback seems somewhat more positive.
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