What Makes You Block Someone? 

By Kate Knibbs on at

People have varying thresholds of tolerance for putting up with ignorance, dickishness, and other crap online. What does it take for you to head straight for the 'Block' button on social media?

Each major platform has a slightly different concoction of options to let you digitally delete someone from your life. Twitter and Facebook both have sort of half-measures that let you mute people without totally cutting them off. But most big social networks give you the good old Block option.

In most cases, blocking someone doesn't necessarily mean you're rid of them for good, since they could always take the nutty but effective step of making a new account to hurl insults at you until you block them again, repeating the process as you both slowly but inexorably age in parallel hatred.

I very rarely block anyone, mostly because I find it more satisfying to mute people on Twitter and because I find unfriending does the trick on Facebook. The only case in which I have a pretty much automatic blocking policy is if someone sends me more than one personally insulting tweet or message. But I know a bunch of people who block early and block often.

I'm wondering if my reluctance to block people is common or if more of you dear dear Giz-ites go for the digital jugular with frequency and ease. How often do you block people and what is it that makes you go through with it? Are you primarily going after people who are outright abusive, like me? Or are you willing to block someone for simply saying something dumb, unfunny, or more generally cruel?

What is your personal threshold for blocking? Also, have you seen the Black Mirror episode about blocking people in real life?

Screenshot via Kate Knibbs