I was talking to Cameron Kunzelman today and he mentioned that he has a hard time blocking people on Twitter.
I used to have a hard time hitting the block button too. It seemed like I was being rude or maybe I was purposefully ignoring inconvenient opinions or something. Then I noticed that women, people of color, and LGBTQA folks that I know did not share my hesitation about blocking people. The reason for this is simple: they experience people on the internet being assholes to them way more frequently than I do as a white guy. How often do I deal with someone being a dick to me on Twitter? Maybe once a month. I can make bold statements about, say, the game industry, and nobody questions my authority to make the statement: they usually just argue the statement itself, which is how it should be! Meanwhile, it’s a frequent occurrence when my spouse tweets something and then someone descends on her to question the ethos of her argument, rather than the logos.
So when someone’s annoying the shit out of me on Twitter, I have the privilege of just ignoring it, and it eventually goes away, and then I’m fine for a month or so. Other people don’t have that privilege and so they’ve got to deploy the block button often. Otherwise Twitter becomes an untenable experience for them.
Once I realized that, something clicked and now whenever someone annoys me consistently on Twitter, I block the shit out of them. (The rule is, if you’re annoying me [edit: I mean by not engaging in good faith discussion], and I can remember another time you annoyed me, you’re blocked.)