Why Blocking Matters

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Veronica de Souza, Digg’s social media editor, had a troll problem. The man would reply to all her tweets, and send her a stream of direct messages in which he’d ask for a job. He even tried adding de Souza to his social networks. Over the course of five months, his transmissions got more aggressive. Finally, a little over a year ago, she decided that months of daily tweets and direct messages were enough. After a particularly bad day, de Douza blocked him. “It felt,” she said, “so good.”

I like blocking people on Twitter. I do it often. According to blockedby.me, over several years I have wielded the banhammer  on 319 people. The reasons are, frankly, arbitrary: the non-ironic use of hashtags in a bio—one guy bragged he was on “#TeamJesus—while another had an egg for an avatar. I don’t tolerate excessive exclamation points or any use, ironic…

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