Twitter adds the most awkward version of blocklist sharing you could imagine

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Maybe someday people will realize that what essentially amounts to a worldwide chat channel is probably not the best way to have safe, secure, and rational, discussions?


But then how will they get the validation of likeminded strangers retweeting them?


“You can export block lists as .csv files!” is supposed to be the joke on the first slide, right next to the screenshot of what your homepage looks like in NCSA Mosaic, or a throwaway reference to

Seriously…presenting that as a bandaid for Twitter’s shrapnel-pocked blast wound of a troll problem is very nearly more pathetic than doing absolutely nothing and just leaving it to the 3rd parties who actually care.


I don’t see what’s wrong with a text file. Would it be cooler if it was in colors and compressed in some interesting way? I get an awful lot of my work done with text files, when I don’t need all the buttons and gizmos of Word or whoever. Why clutter up something that’s worked for - what, 50 years?


I should have clarified: .csv is just fine, extremely useful in fact, for quick, easy, relatively broadly compatible data transfer between applications or people.

However, its strengths lie in once-offs, occasional handoffs of datasets, export dumps, and other relatively static stuff.

In the case of Twitter, this makes them a rather poor fit: It is better than nothing that I can send my blocklist to you; but, even if you thought I was an awsome twitter-de-twitifier, the only way you could keep up with changes I made to my blocklist thereafter would be to have me re-export, send, and you re-import. Every Time. That’s bad.

I have no problem with a nice, basic, csv being the transport format; I don’t need some proprietary binary or base64 encoded JSON or whatnot; but no ability to ‘subscribe’ to a blocklist? No ability to ‘publish’ one such that people can ‘follow’ it and receive additions and deletions as they occur?(Twitter, know how to implement ‘follow’ functionality? Surely I demand too much…)

If they’d announced that you could import/export .csv files and that RSS feeds syndicating lists of .csv files were available for automatic update of ‘followed’ blocklists, easy concatenation of multiple blocklists, etc. I’d be 100% fine with it.

The problem isn’t csv, it’s that a use case like twitter needs an easy way to continue getting updates(which could be implemented using csv files as the base transport mechanism); but so far hasn’t been implemented. Manually importing and exporting stuff gets real old, real quick.

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This sounds like a prescription for a couple lines in bash. Running from cron.

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What fuzzyfungus said. Text is awesome, and I everything humans should ever need to consult in the future, should be readable in some simple manner in text.

But this is a dynamic situation and Twitter controls all our accounts. A way to subscribe to someone else’s blocks or other more sophisticated on-site controls would be vastly better.

This is a stub on the road to a full-blown solution. It is better than nothing, absolutely.

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That’s alright for me, thee, and the rest of the crowd who know how to do it, but not for your average Twitter.

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Those pointclickists better learn scripting.

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Good point, I can imagine that would be useful.

Twitter is just a shoddy platform for having conversations

anyone should be able to create block or allow lists that are private or public and be able to subscribe to and combine other people’s public lists with their own. for example there could be a public boingboing staff and boingboing member lists that could be maintained by boingboing programmatically and anyone could follow/block/allow the lists automatically and stay updated whenever they change.

csv’s? manual import/export? crazy…what year is this? are we going to have to load them onto a dat tape and recompile the twitter client each time we update…yikes! i don’t mind manual csv import/export as an option for backing up and or offline manipulation, but they should be secondary to a much more dynamic and functional solution.

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