Banning, Blocking, and Botting: What Are the Options People Have for Dealing with Negative Experiences with Other Users on Facebook and Twitter?

By West, Jessamyn | Computers in Libraries, March 2015 | Go to article overview

Banning, Blocking, and Botting: What Are the Options People Have for Dealing with Negative Experiences with Other Users on Facebook and Twitter?


West, Jessamyn, Computers in Libraries


An important part of the user experience is how a system handles failures. With social software running on service providers' machines, the system failures we now deal with are sometimes of a human nature. I'm personalizing my user experience this year by blocking, unfollowing, and reporting more people.

If your library uses social software, you may have to deal with human interactions that aren't going so well. Maybe you've been insulted, harassed, threatened, or stalked. Maybe there's a media kerfuffle that has people choosing sides and demanding allegiance. And, suddenly, you're finding that you now need to solve a human-interaction problem, but you may not even know what your toolbox looks like.

A common complaint is that sites that operate at such a large scale don't do a great job of mitigating unpleasant user experiences in an easy-to-understand manner. What are the options people have for dealing with negative experiences with other users on Facebook and Twitter? Let's talk about them.

Dealing With Problems on Facebook

I have a sibling. When I was a kid, my mom's first response to sibling disharmony was, "Just ignore them." This is also true on social media. First ask yourself, "Will this problem be solved if I just stop looking at it? " Not all problems can be, but some might.

On Facebook you have a variety of levels of response on a personal page:

* Hide a post--This does what it says. You don't see that specific post in your feed anymore.

* Unfollow a person--This is an intermediate step. The person's items don't appear in your feed, but you are still "friends."

* Manage a person--Use Facebook's Lists feature to give differing levels of access to different sets of people.

* Block a person--That person will no longer be able to interact with you, and you will no longer be able to interact with him. He will also be automatically unfriended and cannot re-friend you.

* Report a person or a post--Not unlike the "close elevator" button in some respects. Facebook guides you through some possible responses. Things that are truly against Facebook rules will get submitted to the authorities. The upside to reporting is that you can see the results of your report on your support dashboard.

In a group you manage, things are easier. Posts can be deleted, and people can be blocked from the group with impunity.

Dealing With Problems on Twitter

On Twitter, many of the same options are available but with slightly less granularity. Since everything happens at the user level, your options are fewer:

* Unfollow a user--The big difference between following and not following someone is a user's ability to send you a direct message and whether you see her tweets in your timeline, if she is not directly addressing you.

* Mute a user--This is a temporary way to not have a user's tweets appear in your timeline. Users are not informed that they are muted. I often use this when colleagues go to conferences and tweet a lot for a short period of time.

* Block a user--That user will not be able to see your tweets or contact you. That user will be able to see that he has been blocked.

* Report a user--There are multiple ways to report users for violations of Twitter's terms of service, and there are different forms depending on what violation has occurred.

Twitter recently claimed to have beefed up its accountability for helping users manage the abusive behavior of others, though it still has a ways to go. Many users have developed their own ways to use the tools to their advantage. A female scientist friend of mine explains one of her tactics thusly, "The 'tool' that I use most on Twitter is what I call a 'forced-unfollow': If you block and then unblock someone, they no longer follow you. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Banning, Blocking, and Botting: What Are the Options People Have for Dealing with Negative Experiences with Other Users on Facebook and Twitter?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.