Dec. 13 - A backlash against Twitter's new blocking policy forced the microblogging service to backtrack. Fred Katayama reports.
Twitter saw firsthand the power of the tweet. It was pummeled with a barrage of criticism over its new blocking policy, forcing the company to drop it. Under the old policy, if you blocked a user, that person was no longer able to follow you or interact with you. And that person was notified that you had blocked him or her. The problem with that, Twitter says, is that some blocked users would get offended and then retaliate. So it changed its policy, allowing blocked persons to still track and interact with you; in others words, they wouldn't know that you had blocked them. Political analyst Zerlina Maxwell launched a petition on Change.org, saying she was "very concerned because stalkers and abusers will now be able to keep tabs on their victims." After the backlash, Twitter backtracked, reinstituting the old policy. Twitter can't afford to lose fans. The money-losing microblogging service needs to keep and grow its base of users to justify a gargantuan valuation that's higher than Netflix or Sony. Its stock is up 23 percent this week alone, and it added to those gains at the start of trading.