Being able to block predators and criminals is a fundamental part of being safe online.
From the age of four, we teach children to block people who are making them feel uncomfortable or bullying them. As children grow to become teenagers, we empower them to use the blocking feature to shut down communication with people who are exploiting, abusing and manipulating them.
Regardless of any new safety feature that Elon Musk promises to bring in, nothing is more powerful than a child’s own ability to create an unbreakable wall between themselves and those trying to do them harm.
34,000 online grooming offences have been recorded by UK police forces over the past six years - removing the block feature makes it easier for groomers to get what they want, so this figure will sadly grow and grow.
School playgrounds have fences to keep out predators, online platforms should have them too. Removing the block feature leaves the gate open to online criminals who want to harm our children. This is a huge step back for online safety and is wildly irresponsible.