“Oh god…another miserable feminist. Why.”
“Reminder that you’re a racist with a deep hatred for men.”
“I have an end-user solution. It’s called ‘walk away from the fucking screen.'”
These tweets flash across the home page of Block Party, a new app in beta testing that lets users quietly mute unwanted Twitter followers. It’s the brainchild of Tracy Chou, who knows all about online abuse from her years as an engineer at Quora and Pinterest.
“I can’t just opt out. To do my work, I have to be online,” she says. “Blocking people sometimes escalates the harassment, while muting and pretending that content doesn’t exist can be dangerous when there are real physical threats. Filing reports against abusive accounts typically either results in silence or an infuriatingly condescending return message that there is no violation of terms of service so no action will be taken.”
You see the problem. Chou’s social media accounts can be a duck-and-cover drill, as she’s also the outspoken cofounder of the tech diversity initiative Project Include.
Block Party smartly sends messages from unwanted trolls to a Lockout Folder, which can then later be scanned for missed messages, or shared with a friend to scan. You can sign up for the app waitlist here.