Reddit is getting a little bit more restrained - the website just announced that it is launching a new tool for blocking users. The upgraded blocking tool is seen as a means for the site to crack down on Internet trolls and overall harassment, which, unfortunately, have emerged in a number of subreddits in the past.
What makes Reddit's upgraded blocking tool pretty effective is the fact that it does not inform the user that his or her account has been blocked by another. Plus, blocking a person immediately hides all content connected to the offending user, including previous posts.
The changes and upgrades to the blocking tool were outlined in a statement posted by the site's moderators, which clearly stated the rationale behind the creation of the new tool.
"Reddit is a place where virtually anyone can voice, ask about or change their views on a wide range of topics, share personal, intimate feelings or post cat pictures," they said. "But, sometimes, this very openness can lead to less awesome stuff like spam, trolling and, worse, harassment."
Using the new blocking feature is quite easy. All users really need to do is to click the "Block User" button while viewing the reply in the user's in-box. Doing so fully hides everything connected to the blocked account, including comments, posts and even messages. It's a very simple and straightforward system, much like the very characteristics of Reddit itself.
For years, Reddit has been one of the Internet's most unrestrained forums. Though not as notorious as, say 4Chan, Reddit's forums nonetheless gained some notoriety by being places where everyone could say what they want, any way they want to.
Reddit's moderators have been quite hands-off regarding the content of the site's numerous subreddits. Critics, however, pointed out that such an approach ended up fostering an almost toxic culture filled with users who are prone to troll and harass others.
Last year alone, interim CEO Ellen Pao cracked down on several offensive subreddits, such as the banned "Fat People Hate" forum, which resulted in an outcry from the site's users. Pao eventually stepped down and was replaced by co-founder Steve Huffman, who also continued in the pursuit against curbing the site's undesirable culture.
Though a number of users have voiced their reservations regarding the new blocking tool, Reddit announced that it is just one of the steps it is set to take against harassment.
"These are just our first steps toward improving the experience of using Reddit, and we're looking forward to announcing many more," Reddit said.