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Reddit's blocking tool now hides unwanted comments and posts

Engadget Engadget 6/04/2016 Devindra Hardawar
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In a big step towards making Reddit a more welcoming community for everyone, and not just its hardcore users, the site just debuted an upgraded blocking tool. Previously, you could block Reddit users from sending you unwanted private messages, but now the feature also hides hide posts and comments from those Redditors as well. It's similar to Twitter's mute function -- you never have to see activity from a harassing user on the site, and they're also unaware that you blocked them (which could encourage them to continue harassing you).

"Our changes to user blocking are intended to let you decide what your boundaries are, and to give you the option to choose what you want -- or don't want -- to be exposed to," wrote Reddit's founding engineer, Christopher "KeyserSosa" Stowe. "[And, of course, you can and should still always report harassment to our community team!]"

The upgraded blocking tool has been a long time coming. Last June, Reddit finally broke away from its hands-off approach to censoring content on the site by banning subreddits that encouraged harassment. That led to a massive user revolt, with some defecting to alternative social news sites like Voat. At the time, I argued that the uproar would be a good thing for Reddit in the long run. Giving users the option to actually use Reddit without being bombarded by jerks is certainly a good start (though it would have been nice to see much, much sooner).

You can block users who message or comment on your posts by clicking a button in your inbox. If you change your mind, you can choose to unblock them from the "blocked" tab in your Reddit preferences.


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