Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Google Chrome App Blocks Trolls AND Their Followers

Internet harassment is a growing problem, especially for women. Unfortunately, it is often very difficult to deal with these characters legally owing to jurisdictional issues, lack of technical knowledge by law enforcement, etc. Since there are few consequences for death threats, rape threats, and general ugliness, people are more and more inclined to do it.

The antics of the #GamerGate mob are the most well-known (and seem to be the most prevalent), but there are also the so-called "Social Justice Warriors" and, more recently, vicious Trump supporters. For all the good social media does, it has allowed for a lot more ugly behavior too.

Well, thanks to Celeste Ng (who posted the original Tweet) and Daniel Abraham (who retweeted it), I learned about this Google Chrome app that can block both abusive troll-types AND their dog-piling followers. It's called Twitter Block Chain. If an Internet hate mob is coming after you, this will lock them out and you won't have to deal with their crap.

So if Internet pests are so taxing that you're tempted to stop speaking your mind, here's a chance to get rid of them. Although it won't protect against some forms of attack (like doxing), it keeps the verbal abuse and threats away.


  1. I haven't played around with Twitter and its security features enough, apparently, because I thought that if you were posting publicly, the only thing that blocking a user accomplishes is that you can no longer see their responses to your tweets, but if you're posting publicly, they can still see and react to anything you tweet. That seems kind of useless if that is indeed how it works.

    Or does it act more like a Facebook 'block,' where it completely hides both parties from the other, so that it's like neither of you exist to the other?

    In the latter case, this would be much more useful.

  2. I've been blocked on Twitter a couple times (political disagreement once; not sure why the other) and you can't see anything on their site logged in. Logged out you can (if they're stuff is public), but you can't do anything.

    Based on a perusal of Ms. Ng's Twitter feed she's gotten a lot of crap from people (reason to block) and complaints about blocking people (so it's working). If the app functions like Twitter blocking, it'd probably more like a Facebook block.