10 Reasons Not To Block Someone On Twitter

One of the most ingenious aspects of Twitter is that if someone is annoying you or being rude, you can simply unfollow them or even block them. I have blocked my fair share of people, and most of the time I’ve done it without giving it a second thought.

Blocking someone is strange because it’s like erasing him or her from your life. With the click of a button – poof – they are gone. It’s like they never existed. I’ve also experienced being on the other side of a block. When you are the person being blocked, at least for me, it is hurtful. It is the ultimate way that someone can send you a clear message that they want you gone, never to be heard from again.

Being unfollowed, to me, is no big deal. People unfollow each other all the time for various reasons (you can read this article to see some of the reasons: What Do You Do When You Get Unfollowed on Twitter?). However, being blocked, on the other hand, means that person also prevents you from following them; they want you to go away in every way.

In some situations, it is very necessary to block someone if they are being rude or inappropriate because Twitter is our happy place, and we shouldn’t have to deal with that. However, in many cases, I think we get trigger happy with the block button.

I’ve matured a lot since I got on Twitter a year ago. I’ve learned that Twitter relationships and real life relationships are very similar. Just as you would think twice before kicking someone out of your real life, sometimes it might be best to think twice before kicking someone out of your Twitter life also.

10 Reasons Not To Block Someone On Twitter

1. Everyone deserves a second chance
Some people will disagree with me here, but I believe this is true. So someone was a jerk to you on Twitter – if they apologize and are genuine about it, do you think you might be able to give them a second chance to do the right thing?

2. Their tweet was simply the result of having a bad day
We all have bad days every now and then and we all say things that we regret when we aren’t feeling our best. Sometimes we have to just give people a break, even on Twitter.

3. Are you making an emotional decision? Can you sleep on it?
Although it’s hard sometimes, I’ve found that it is best to not make decisions when we are emotional. You want to block someone? Would you consider sleeping on it just to be sure you feel the same way in the morning? If you feel the same way when you wake up, then blocking is probably the right thing to do. But chances are, you’ll wake up and think that person is annoying as hell, but you won’t think it is necessary to block him.

4. Alcohol might be involved
C’mon, be for real, you’ve never had too many glasses of wine and then gotten on Twitter? You must be an angel. My personal view on this is that if someone gets on Twitter after having too much to drink and they make a fool out of themselves, they are going to have to deal with the embarrassment and the tarnished reputation the next day. They don’t need me to rub salt in that already fresh wound by blocking them as well.

5. We may have taken their tweet out of context
Online humor is different than ‘in person’ humor because many things do not translate from one to the other. I see it in blog posts and tweets all the time, people trying to be funny but it’s just not working out. Can we give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe we just took that humor out of context, is that possible? In this article 4 Tips For Handling A Spat With An Internet Friend, I wrote that when we are reading text without the benefit of hearing someone’s voice or having eye contact, it’s very easy to take things out of context, “Be more patient, more kind and more understanding than you might be in person because just as you are trying to decipher their text, they are doing the same thing with yours. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, always.”

6. Slip of the tongue
Oh… this is a good one. It’s fun to watch on Twitter. Someone will send a tweet and then their very next tweet will be either justifying what they were really trying to say or apologizing for how it came out. We all have a slip of the tongue every now and then in real life and on Twitter. I open my mouth and insert my foot on a regular basis. If you want to see my own embarrassment in action, just read the comments on this article How To: Handle a Parking Douchebag and Keep Your Sanity. It’s pretty easy to forgive and forget on this one, no real reason to block, right?

7. You never know
You never know what is going on at the other end of someone’s tweet. They could be in a very bad situation and you don’t know about it. Their twitter account could be hijacked by their kids, they could be trying to use Google translator and it’s not working, they could be in a very bad relationship and it’s causing them stress. You just never know. My own personal rule of thumb is that they have to be a jerk on more than one occasion for me to block them because I don’t know what is going on with them in their life at that time.

8. Forgiveness is always a better path to take
Wow, I have learned this lesson the hard way, and I’ve learned it on Twitter. When you don’t forgive someone it’s like you are allowing a snake to bite you over and over again. If you want to break free of that, you have to forgive. Don’t do it for the other person, but do it for yourself. You will feel lighter and happier. In this article 10 Lessons I’ve Learned On Twitter I wrote, “If you want to be filled with joy, forgive everyone for everything. Period.” and I still stand by that today.

9. Do you have followers to spare?
A friend of mine has 5 followers on Twitter and she is so cute because she is proud of every one of those followers. Even though she’s only sent about ten tweets, the way she looks at it, she set up an account, she wrote a bio, she found a picture and she tweeted. That is a lot of work and she got 5 followers out of the deal. I know for her, if she blocked one, she would lose 20% of her followers which would make her sad. You know I don’t believe that the numbers matter much; however, do you have followers to throw on the pile and write off forever?

10. Karma
As you know, karma is a mother and just be careful you aren’t blocking someone because you want to hurt them, get their attention, or just to be nasty. If you do that, you know you will attract those same kind of followers to you, and it’s not a pretty sight. I saw this play out on someone’s Twitter page about a month ago, and she was so clueless and still kept throwing out insults and I just wanted to say to her, stop and take a look at what’s happening. However, it’s easy for us all to get caught up in a self righteous moment, I’ve done it myself a million times. Let’s try to remember about karma next time it happens.

Thank you for your lovely pictures!


  • comment-avatar

    Just blocked someone — no tweets & I’m the only person followed on that account.
    Uke Jackson

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    Maverick™ 10 years

    The reasons not to block are reasonable However some tweeters will constantly jump into a convo with out a invite and reply to everyone in the thread. This will go on for hours and days. I say BLOCK w/o hesitation

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    Merab 10 years

    What about someone that starts going through every one of your tweets and tweets back (unsolicited reply) a nasty comment to each one? Does that justify a block?

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    Patti 9 years

    Being arrested for DUI means future employers can’t hire you because their insurance companies see you as a liability to the company, especially if you drink and drive, then cause injury to others. Professionals in credentialing business view credentialing as the shield of protection for their patients and for the healthy society. With financial identity fraud, a person steals someone’s personal information.

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      Sakin Satmatora 6 years

      it doesnt mean dui , it means someone drunk at home

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    Daniel 9 years

    I for one instantly block anyone who follows me. I have 0 followers and a block list of hundreds. I don’t want to be followed, it creeps me out that someone would be notified of everything I tweet. The tweets are meant for a particular @Person or to take part in a specific #Discussion. Why should anyone want to see all of that at once? My account is not meant to be followed.

    The way I see it, on Twitter you’re either on the provider or the consumer side. You’re either a celebrity or content provider that publishes stuff of interest to thousands of people, i.e. thousands of followers, in which case it’s pointless to block people because you don’t read or care much about their stuff anyway. Or, you’re on the consumer side, in which case I don’t understand why you would want to be followed.

    I would love for Twitter to add a feature to make one’s account un-followable. This would spare me the task of going to click Block buttons everytime someone follows me.

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    hello 9 years

    How can I tell if someone has blocked me? I suspect that they have, as I keep sending tweets @ them and get no response. Perhaps they don’t have me blocked and just aren’t responding. These tweets I send to him don’t necessarily require a response.

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    Obtenir des j'aimes 9 years

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  • comment-avatar
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    Strbuk 9 years

    I was recently blocked by someone who had suprisingly just started following me 3weeks before. He is a minor league celeb and I had tweeted a few (i promose just 3 or 4) supportive(not gushing or stalking type:) tweets about his TVshow. My mistake was, well I don’t know what it was. But it bugs the heck out of me lol! An unfollow would have done nicely, an eradication was unnecessary

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      More idiotic slebs!!

      Maybe he thought your name was similar to that of his ex?! ;)

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      Or he pushed a button by mistake! :)

      I’ve muted at least one person by mistake on Twitter recently.

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    deadairman 9 years

    is it rude to block unsolicited follows by members with +50K followers also following +50K others? After all, what can this be besides someone who only wants to bump up their count or sell me some kind of shit?

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    Dee 9 years

    I had to block a person. He insulted & was harrassing me. Saying things that weren’t true. Truly this troll was really cruel. sometimes in a case like this you need to block.

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    Lukas S. 9 years

    I see a lot of people here who don’t understand how Twitter actually works…

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    Jeremy 8 years

    Blocking someone should be an absolute last resort . It’s a terrible way to treat people to just block them because you were offended once.

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      Reva 8 years

      I remember getting blocked by a favorite celebrity on twitter and I admit I was commenting too much but I did not mean to. I had a crush on him. Then I had told someone he knew and they blocked me too that same day. Later I got on instragram and apologized to him because I felt bad and I did not know I was bothering him at first. Both him and his friend saw it and they were joking about it on twitter and his friend called me a stalker and I did not like that at all. I had a grudge towards them both for a few months and I know that was childish and I never got blocked before until after that happened I started getting blocked by more people. Some of it little stuff and some of it accidental and I don’t talk to others as much anymore. Last year I took revenge on the two of them by making extra accounts and following them which was a stupid mistake. Yesterday I got blocked by someone just because I responded to a tweet and I promised myself to be more careful. How can I avoid that?

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      On my account, if a user blocks me, they get reported, blocked and muted immediately. All actions on my account are returned because I believe in doing unto others as they do unto you. TBF, I don’t want to see the tweets of people who block me because I take action on those accounts instantly. Yet I see it and this is where Twitter fails as a service.

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      I agree.

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    Gemmy 8 years

    I liked your views Diana. God bless your soul

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    Sick Of It 8 years

    How many Blocks does it take to get someone permanently Banned from Twitter?

    ID @leechrisleeminn posts literally several hundred abusive tweets at a time directed at her friends, & rages on & on with vile comments for days. Then switches to sugary sweet. She has been reported for attacking people multiple times by multiple people. She has even made veiled threats to shoot someone & posted pictures of guns. And if anyone complains about it, or Unfollows her, she howls they are “bullies!” & “stalking her!” & spews endless lies about them. She also posts hundreds & hundreds of suicide threats. I have seen people refollow her out of fear. Last year, she decided to go hobo & conned the public out of thousands of dollars in cash & resources to pay for her irresponsible hiatus.

    And Twitter does *nothing*. They could not care less.

    What does it take to get action out of Twitter? How can we take out the trash??

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    Anne Hagan 8 years

    The original post here was 4 years ago. In that time, Twitter has exploded in popularity. These days, users get followers every single day who’s sole aim is to sell them 5,000 or 10,000 followers for “X” price. These are people that create multiple ghost accounts just to sell. Those folks deserve to be blocked. It’s bad enough that there are thousands of gurus out there touting Twitter, a social network, as the place to sell and millions out there constantly pushing what they’re selling. We don’t need people selling followers too. They’re easy enough to get on your own.

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    Nissim 7 years

    I always block people who unfollowed me despite my still following them. I do this for two reasons:

    1) I feel it’s disrespectful to unfollow me when I’ve stood by them and remained their follower. Often these people routinely follow and then unfollow as a way to improve their follower/following ratio.

    2) It’s a simple way for me not to accidentally follow them again in the future. I see their blocked status and I know not to follow them again

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    Joe 7 years

    I feel like pretty much all 10 of these ‘reasons’ can be summed up into one thought/message. Or if you’re going to list likely circumstances which may warrant reconsideration, why stop there? There’s a million of them.

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    Graham Giles 6 years

    I like this article. For me, blocking is a blunt instrument and, whilst I accept that it’s a good thing to be able to block people who are harassing or abusing you on Twitter, it’s a major pain to be unable to read someone’s tweets just because they disliked or took offence at something you’d written.

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    Keshia 6 years

    I’ve been blocked by four people in the last three years, not because of what I may have said (quite the opposite, I was on the receiving end of their insults) but because I had the balls to call them out on their bulls–t.

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      Yes. That tends to happen. When one calls X out on their BS.

      Why is it only possible to reply to some of the comments here? I’d like to ask Reva above who her “celebrity” was – Donald Trump?

      I’ve never known a celebrity – or “sleb” as we Brits sometimes call ’em – talk to another celebrity about a “pleb”. Aren’t they far too self-absorbed?

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    me 6 years

    when someone blocks you, do you have to spend some time in your “safe place”?

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    Rui Belo 6 years

    Thank you Diana Adams, excellent, thoughtful article even 6 years after publication.