Why I See The Block And Report Feature On Social Media As A Blessing

Posted by Shruti Shhreyasi in #NoPlace4Hate, Sci-Tech, Specials
January 2, 2018
Facebook logoEditor’s Note: With #NoPlace4Hate, Youth Ki Awaaz and Facebook have joined hands to help make the Internet a safer space for all. Watch this space for powerful stories of how young people are mobilising support and speaking out against online bullying.

The ‘block’ and ‘report’ features have been, and will continue to be, a blessing.

Social media is a good platform to showcase your views and ideas, yet abuse is also plenty. This does not mean that one does not want to engage opposing views, but it ignores the varying degrees of abuse. Presenting various different points of view and engaging in debate is one thing. However throwing around sexist, homophobic slurs and using words such as ‘libtard’ and ‘feminazi’, along with issuing rape threats, is another. Sadly, it is the latter that I see happening all across different forms of social media. Therefore, in my opinion, the block and report function helps make social media a tolerable (if not pleasant) experience.

Apart from this, the block feature also comes in handy for blocking a persistent suitor, the occasional nudes sender, and the ex-friend. Open any woman’s social media account, and all three of these categories would be present. Is that really the only use of social media people have left? The reasons for using the ‘block’ or ‘report’ feature here may not be as important as the aforementioned, but they do help in giving peace of mind. Social media blocking and unfollowing has started acting as an indicator of the status of real-world relationships, with celebrities unfollowing each other even making headlines.

As we advance into 2018, the personal and political intermingle even more. That is not to say that they haven’t intermingled all along. Sometimes taking a break from abuse gotten because of political views helps a lot.

The ‘report’ feature not only makes our social media experience better, but that of other users as well. Recently, Chrissy Teigen made her profiles private because of posts alleging her involvement in a conspiracy theory known as the ‘Pizzagate’. The online world is this home to a lot of questionable and triggering content – the latter not in the funny ‘omg so triggered’ way but in the ‘amplifying depression, PTSD’ way.

This is content that can be done away with and avoided with the help of the ‘block’ and ‘report’ features, and thus, I support it fully and appreciate that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have come up with the same. Using ‘block’ or ‘report’ is not a bad thing. It does not show that you are weak. All it brings out is the fact, that you want a safe, tolerable and fun experience online and you are willing to stand up for yourself and others, and take no shit from anyone.