Twitter tests a ‘soft block’ feature to manage account followers

New option allows people to prevent selected accounts from following them, without resorting to a full-on block.

The Twitter logo reflected in an eye
The Twitter logo reflected in an eye

Twitter wants to give people more control over who follows them without having to block accounts.

The tech giant is currently testing a new feature on the web that allows users to simply remove a person as a follower, widely viewed as a “soft block”.

For public accounts, this means tweets will still be visible if the removed person decides to manually view the profile, but tweets will no longer appear on their Twitter timeline.

The idea is designed to be less brutal than an outright block, which would result in the account from viewing anything a user posts.

Twitter said the option is being explored as a possible way to make it “easier to be the curator of your own followers list”.

Previously, users had to get around undesired followers by blocking then unblocking an account to remove them as a follower.

The move follows the recent unveiling of a feature that is also being tested to allow people to temporarily block accounts that are sending them abuse.

With Safety Mode turned on, Twitter will block accounts and content for seven days that the firm’s systems spot using harmful language or sending repetitive, uninvited replies.

The announcement comes as the company, and wider social media, continues to face questions over how to better protect users from online abuse following a number of high-profile incidents, including the targeting of black England footballers during Euro 2020.

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