[ View the story "Gender discussion highlights Twitter's 'block' policy" on Storify] Gender discussion highlights Twitter's 'block' policy #RestoreTheBlock addresses concerns over Twitter's brief decision to alter how users block others.
AJAMStream· Fri, Dec 13 2013 13:39:45
Many believe that Twitter would have never implemented the 'muting' policy if it listened to more female Twitter users ahead of time. The #RestoreTheBlock hashtag reflected that sentiment, as users discussed their experiences and sense of safety while using the platform.
Musa Okwonga summed up why Twitter's 'muting' policy was problematic:
My female friends seem to get far more harassment merely for stating their views than men do. They know, for example, that a common form of online aggression is to have someone who hates you constantly retweeting on your tweets to others, so that the can pile on the abuse. These new changes are making it easier for online abusers to hunt their targets in packs.okwonga.com
Similar views were expressed on Twitter as many began to convince the company to change its policy.
The new Twitter block policy is like hearing men sexually harass women in the street and giving the women earplugs. #RestoreTheBlockJoseph Nobles
Twitter should #RestoreTheBlock because prioritizing the needs of harassers over the harassed is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.Amanda
#RestoreTheBlock because it gives women power against harassers.Jaclyn Munson
#RestoreTheBlock @Twitter, weird men have spied on me and stalked me in real real life after reading my tweetsprotected computer
Bear witness to what women on Twitter are saying tonight about why the company should #RestoreTheBlock. No one should be afraid on Twitter.Jessica Guynn
Exclusive: New Twitter Logo #RestoreTheBlock http://t.co/mFju2lkYrLtwitter.com
Others also questioned Twitter's executive management, which consists mostly of men.
Gotta wonder what would have happened had Twitter had more women in company leadership. #RestoreTheBlockMelinda Byerley
My theory re: #RestoreTheBlock 1 Twitter the company has few users in positions of influence who use for practical purposes 2 Few women too.Stephanie Stradley
The gender issue and Twitter's company makeup have led to new posts about the backlash and why it caught the company by surprise. Bryce Covert from The Nation writes:
And this might help explain why Twitter didn’t see the backlash coming. It, like many other tech companies, is a male-dominated company. Just two of its twelve executive team members are women, and they were not likely involved in the decision: they are its vice president of human resources and the general counsel. It just added its first female board member last week, a sign of its recognition that diversity is important but that there is so much father to go. This maleness is counter to its user base: the majority are women, which is true for social media in general.thenation.com
What do you think about Thursday's #RestoreTheBlock discussion on Twitter? Share your comments below.