Posts tagged Blocking

Google Webmaster Guidelines Updated To Warn About Blocking CSS & JavaScript Files

Google announced they’ve updated their webmaster guidelines to specifically note that blocking your CSS or JavaScript files may have a negative impact on your indexing and search rankings in Google. Pierre Far, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, said the “new guideline specifies…



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Google Webmaster Update: Blocking JavaScript & CSS Can Affect Indexing

Google has updated its Webmaster Guidelines, which will likely affect sites that are blocking JavaScript or CSS files.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Now You Can Crowdsource The Job Of Blocking Creeps On Twitter

Sometimes blocking harassers on Twitter doesn’t do the trick. Many Twitter users want better ways to deal with them. Now they have one.

In an attempt to help users better manage their accounts and block lists to prevent harassment, developer Jacob Hoffman-Andrews created “Block Together,” a tool that lets users automatically block new users who @-reply them and share their block lists with other Twitter users.

User unhappiness with Twitter’s existing harassment-management systems came to a head last week during a hashtag-based Twitter interview that CNBC hosted with CEO Dick Costolo. The network asked users to tweet their questions for Costolo with the hashtag #AskCostolo, and more than 30% of the questions had to do with safety or harassment on Twitter. CNBC didn’t #AskCostolo any of those questions.

Twitter doesn’t provide the best tools and resources for people who suffer harassment. Users can can block harassers or spammers, but often enough the blockees just create new accounts and continue to harass their original targets. Reporting these harassers can be difficult as well, especially if they delete their accounts. (Twitter, of course, also has to balance safety issues with its commitment to freedom of speech, even for Internet trolls.)

Users That Flock Together, Block Together

Hoffman-Andrews, a former Twitter engineer who now works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, was inspired by other tools like the Block Bot, which automatically blocks stalkers or spammers at different levels of unpleasantness.

Block Together enables you to block new accounts less than seven days old that @-mention you, and can generate unlisted URLs to let people share block lists with friends to prevent other people from facing similar harassment. 

Block Together isn’t officially sanctioned by Twitter, and the tool is still in beta. Hoffman-Andrews encourages anyone who has suggestions or wants to improve it to contact him or submit a pull request on GitHub (if you’ve submitted code changes).

Many of Twitter’s most popular features—like @-replies and hashtags—originated with users themselves who wanted better ways of communicating with each other. Over time, these user-created features became part of Twitter’s core.

Maybe Block Together is another example of the Twitter community rallying to create and potentially popularize a much-needed feature that could also eventually get absorbed into Twitter proper. It’s one that many people clearly need. 

Lead image by Flickr user Alex Holyoake

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Is Microsoft Blocking Google Search On New Lumia Phones?

According to a story appearing in The Verge yesterday, Microsoft is not allowing users to set Google as the default search engine for mobile web browsing on new Lumia 8.1 devices (630 and 930). As the article points out, the search button on the handset uses Bing and cannot be switched. I reached…



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Robots.txt Celebrates 20 Years Of Blocking Search Engines

Today is the 20th anniversary of the robots.txt directive being available for webmasters to block search engines from crawling their pages. The robots.txt was created by Martijn Koster in 1994 while he was working at Nexor after having issues with crawlers hitting his sites too hard. All major…



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Google Starts Blocking Access to Paid Search Keyword Data

Everyone has been concerned about the potential of Google expanding “(not provided)” to also encompass paid search. Google has confirmed that AdWords is removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com.

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Will Google Start Blocking Access to Paid Search Keyword Data?

Everyone has been concerned about the potential of Google moving “(not provided)” to also encompass paid search. Now a new report says AdWords will no stop supplying third parties with paid search query data within the next few weeks.

View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest

Turkey Bans YouTube Days After Blocking Twitter Access

It may not be able to block Twitter, but Turkey still aims to limit the amount of communications leaving the country by any means necessary. On Thursday, the Turkish telecoms authority (TIB) moved to block access to YouTube, according to the BBC

The TIB said it has taken “administrative measure” against YouTube after audio leaks of Turkish officials discussing potential military operations on Syria were anonymously published on the video service

The move to block YouTube comes just one day after a Turkish court suspended Turkey’s ban on Twitter, saying it was illegal. Earlier this month, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to ban Facebook and YouTube, and it appears he is following through with this threat with at least one of those major social networks. 

Last week’s Twitter ban in Turkey did not prevent its citizens from accessing the social network, however. People used Twitter via SMS, virtual private networks (VPNs), and cryptography tools like Tor that masked their computer’s location. It’s likely people will do the same for YouTube.

Image via Quinn Dombrowski on Flickr.

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Twitter Revises Blocking Policy, Confuses Millions

Update: Twitter has reversed the following changes after a significant number of users voiced their outrage on the service. “We believe this is not ideal, largely due to the retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends) that often occurs,” the company said. 

An update to Twitter’s blocking policy changes exactly how blocked users can interact with the users who have blocked them. Bear with us for a moment as we step through this.

Previously, if you blocked another user, that person could no longer follow your account, although they could still see your tweets (assuming your account was public, as most Twitter accounts apparently are). Twitter wouldn’t tell other users that they’d been blocked, although they could figure it out if they tried to follow you and couldn’t.

Now, though, any user you block can follow you and view your tweets directly in their timeline. They can also favorite, retweet and @-reply to your account—you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline or your “connect” tab. You also won’t see anyone else who RTs, favorites or follows blocked users, and you won’t see blocked users among your followers.

In effect, blocking another user “mutes” them for you, but changes nothing for them.

A Twitter spokesperson told me that updating the blocking policy is intended to reduce the antagonism some people express when they’ve been blocked. Sometimes users who found out they’d been blocked would retaliate by getting his or her friends or other accounts to tweet harassing comments at the blocker.

Twitter added that the move should also remind people that everything they tweet is public (again, unless they have a protected account). That means anything you post publicly on Twitter can be seen by everyone with an Internet connection.

As you might expect, many users are upset with the changes. Whenever a company tweaks privacy policies to make data more publicly accessible, the Internet tends to balk.

However, blocking someone on Twitter has never done anything more than add an extra step for them to read and interact with your tweets; the new update effectively mutes aggressive or annoying tweeters, and hopefully ends some of the hostility toward blockers.

If you really want to keep the world at large from viewing your tweets, simply set your account to private so only people you approve will be able to view your timeline.

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Twitter Reverts Blocking Policy After User Outrage

Earlier today we told you about updates to Twitter’s blocking policy that allowed users to follow and interact with those who blocked them, but effectively “muted” their activity so the blockers wouldn’t see it. As you might imagine, Twitter users were unhappy with the update, and voiced their opinions on the social network. 

This evening Twitter announced it was reverting the blocking policy back to one it had previously: blocked users can no longer follow the person who blocked them or view their tweets in their timelines, and users will be able to tell that they have been blocked.

“We believe this is not ideal, largely due to the retaliation against blocking users by blocked users (and sometimes their friends) that often occurs,” the company said in a statement. “Some users worry just as much about post-blocking retaliation as they do about pre-blocking abuse.”

Public accounts can still be viewed by everyone, so just because someone is blocked, it is still possible for them to read public tweets by searching on Twitter or visiting the blocker’s profile. If you block someone, you still won’t see or get notified about any of their activity.

Any blocks users had previously implemented will still be in place.

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