Block Party: the in-built Twitter tool that takes the nastiness out of online interactionBlathnaid O’Deaon April 25, 2022 at 12:32 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Twitter is working with tech entrepreneur and software engineer Tracy Chou to introduce a set of online safety tools designed to stop online harassment.

Chou is CEO of Block Party, a suite of tools built into the Twitter platform which allows the social media site’s users to communicate with followers without having to contend with online abuse.

The site is part of Twitter’s recently launched ‘Twitter Toolbox’ series which aims to win back the trust of developers by allowing them to build natively on Twitter itself. The social media giant will promote the developer-built platforms on its site. Launched in February, the toolbox includes the Thread Reader app as well as scheduling apps Chirr and Buffer and safety tools such as Bodyguard and Block Party.

Block Party has three main features. These are lockout filters, block lists and helper view.

The lockout filters can be used to mute Twitter users who bother you with unwanted content. The strength of the filters can be adjusted depending on a user’s mood or personal needs.

People who want to use Block Party for Twitter can do so by signing up and linking their Block Party account to their Twitter. They can adjust their filters to determine who they want or don’t want to hear from in their mentions.

Any content that has been filtered from their timeline goes into a lockout folder which users can review in their own time.

Block lists do pretty much what they promise to do. The feature lets the user copy an abusive Tweet into a block list. With one click, they can block every account that liked and/or retweeted a particular abusive Tweet. Similar to the lockout filters, block lists can be reviewed and added to over time.

Helper view allows a user to give a trusted family member or friend the power to take action on their behalf, without granting them full access to their Twitter account. New ‘helpers’ can be added or removed as needed by inputting their email addresses into the Block Party account. The feature was designed for people who don’t want to face internet trolls on their own; it lets helpers mute and block other Twitter users on somebody’s behalf.

very cool to work with twitter on this & i’m excited for more people to discover @blockpartyapp_ through twitter itself! this kind of targeted distribution, getting in front of the folks who most need our safety tools, when they need them, is the dream https://t.co/1MKjBt7IAu

— Tracy Chou (@triketora) April 21, 2022

Block Party’s most basic plan is free and it allows moderate filters and previews of keyword filters and helper view. To get block lists and full access to helper view, keyword filters and more, users will need to shell out $12 per month for a premium plan (or $10 a month with annual billing).

The most expensive and extensive plan, supporter, costs $13 per month (or $11 with annual billing). It offers opt-in opportunities to test new features and tools in beta, as well as everything in the other cheaper plans.

Block Party’s creator Chou has long been an advocate for diversity in the tech industry. She has worked as an engineer with Pinterest and Quora. She is a founding member of Project Include, a non-profit organisation working to providing meaningful diversity and inclusion policies for tech companies. Chou also works with several Bay Area VC firms and start-ups as an investment scout and advisor on a range of topics from engineering and product to culture and diversity.

In 2017, Chou spoke at Inspirefest, the predecessor to SiliconRepublic.com’s Future Human tech event, which recently announced the first round of its line-up of speakers for this year. It will be taking place from May 12-13 in the Trinity Business School building in Dublin and online.

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