Trolls and griefers have long resorted to using impersonation to sow the seeds of dissention among targets ranging from businesses to feminists. When that fails, they often resort to creative but coarse threats. Now tech editor Glenn Fleishman has a proposal on Boing Boing to combat these terror campaigns with a new tool he calls “collaborative social blocking.”
With collaborative blocking, a group of people creates a list of accounts to block or, in some cases, mute. The list is propagated through a Web-based app that allows people to opt-in with a Twitter account, authorizing the app to carry out certain behavior on their behalf. Twitter allows clients and specialized apps to block, mute, and unfollow, among other actions.
Some will cry censorship. Social blocking, if it works, would affirm the right of free association and the ability of groups to hold sensible dialogues, free from fear.