Reddit announced yesterday the release of a new feature meant to protect users from harassment on the social platform. The new feature will allow users to block those who are harassing them — by merely clicking the block button in their inbox.
Interestingly, this is not the first time Reddit has launched a tool against abuse and harassment. Previously, the website unveiled a similar tool for its private messages. This time however the discussion forum is increasing the tool’s reach to other areas on the website.
The expanded blocking tool will hide the user’s content from the website without informing any of the blocked users. On the flip side, users can simply unblock a user by heading to the preference page and clicking the unblock button.
“[Y]ou can now block users that reply to you in comment replies as well,” a Reddit engineer explained on the site. “Simply click the ‘Block User’ button while viewing the reply in your inbox. From that point on, the profile of the blocked user, along with all their comments, posts, and messages, will then be completely removed from your view.”
Reddit is not the only website that was criticized lately for not dealing with the ongoing abuse and harassment on the Internet. Earlier this year, Twitter became a subject of concern as it failed to protect users from abuse. Therefore, to deal with the problem the microblogging website set up a Trust and Safety Council. The Council brings together a team of experts from 40 different companies that help the website make its platform a safer place for its users.
Lately, users have criticized Reddit’s management for creating a toxic culture, enabling its users to abuse and harass others on the website. Last June, the company decided to censor the content on the social platform by banning subreddits that promote harassment. That resulted in a massive revolt and many users switched to other discussion forums i.e. Voat.
Reddit announced yesterday: “These are just our first steps toward improving the experience of using Reddit, and we’re looking forward to announcing many more.”
Despite efforts to improve the user experience, Reddit is well aware that its open nature is very important to its popularity. Several tech experts are of the view that if the company brings too many changes on its platform, it might see a decline in its user base. Also, the company’s co-founder Alex Ohanian told The New York Times, that Reddit users do not like many changes on the platform. Therefore, it has to take steps best suited for its popularity and user base.