Freedom of speech emphasized as X revamps block feature; What users should know

Elon Musk has voiced his strong support for unrestricted freedom of speech and consistently opposes censorship on his social media platform X. Recently, the company has updated its block features to align with Musk's principles of freedom of expression.

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Shantanu Poswal
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Elon Musk, known for his staunch advocacy of freedom of speech, has consistently resisted government and court requests to ban certain accounts on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. Musk has vehemently defended these decisions as upholding the principles of freedom of speech, reiterating that X stands for absolute freedom of expression. However, recent changes on the platform indicate a shift in how certain features, like the block option, are handled.

X has modified the functionality of the block feature concerning how replies are displayed within the platform. Previously, when a user blocked someone on X, the blocked user could still reply to their posts. However, these replies remained invisible to the user who initiated the block, ensuring that they were not aware of the blocked user's engagement. This protocol is being altered, enabling users to view direct replies from blocked individuals, thereby increasing transparency in interactions.

In a statement from X's engineering team, the company emphasised that this change aligns with their commitment to maintaining X as a public town square. The post hinted at potential additional modifications to the block feature, which is widely used as a safety measure on the platform. The overarching goal is to empower users to manage their experience while preserving the public visibility of posts, reflecting Musk's previous assertions about the inefficacy of a public-facing block feature.

Musk has also turned his attention to addressing concerns about the platform's content quality, attributing some issues to bot activity. He raised the issue of bots spamming likes, replies, and direct messages (DMs), which can degrade the overall user experience. As a response, Musk threatened to pause advertisement revenue sharing for select creators until a thorough investigation into bot usage is conducted, highlighting the platform's efforts to combat spam and maintain content integrity.