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Discreet blocking - Friday April 21st 2017   [ Back to top ]

Implemented back in July 2009, the block feature discreetly blocks someone from sending you messages.

It is somewhat different from what other sites do. When you are blocked on other sites, you visually see that you are blocked and you are prevented from sending to the user a new message. Some sites go beyond and even prevent you from viewing the profile in question.

On this site, you can still send messages even if you are blocked, but the recipient does not see them because they are automatically deleted by the system.

Is it worse or better? It really depends how you see it. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Most users who actively know that they are blocked by seeing a visual message will also know how to get around the system. That user can create a new fake profile and then be able to harass the profile again. Also, people who actively know that they are being blocked will sometimes seek retaliation out of anger, whether it is to file a complaint to the webmaster or by posting revenge porn/bad posts/false claims in forums. In this era where more users know the methods of social engineering, there's a lot at stake.

On the other hand, users that do not know that they are being blocked might continue to write messages. With no replies in sight, he might just think that the other end is ignoring him and give up in the end. The consequence here is that the blocked user is wasting time writing letters for nothing. (Not that you should really care if you blocked that person.) There's also a chance that the sender will forget about it on the long run. Mind you, there are ways to find out that you are discreetly blocked, it's just a tad bit harder for the average user to determine this and most users would not know the procedure.

In the end, it's a question of reduced management. Being alone in maintaining the site, I feel that it's a safer, pacific way to deal with these matters.