Frequently asked questions
Find answers to common questions about our product and company
Last updated: January 2021

1 Block Party

1.1 What is Block Party?

Block Party is a consumer app built to solve online harassment and put you back in control. You choose who you want to hear from — and we keep everyone else out. On Twitter, for example, we can help you mute accounts more likely to send you unwanted content. Then we put those accounts that we've filtered out into a Lockout Folder accessible on Block Party. This way, you're less likely to miss out on the important stuff, but you can decide when you want to look at it. You can have your friends help out, too: Helper View lets trusted friends review your Lockout Folder and take action on your behalf, whether that's blocking the trolls, alerting you to important updates, or sending you the messages worth responding to.

Block Party is currently a web product, but we're planning to build native apps for iOS and Android as soon as we can.

1.2 Is Block Party for me?

Block Party is for anyone who wants to be able to use the Internet on their own terms and not be subjected to harassing, abusive or simply unwanted content. Our beta product has integration with Twitter and is designed for influencers or active Twitter users who frequently get @mentions from people they don't want or need to hear from, mixed in with the content that is necessary, useful or interesting.

1.3 How do I sign up for Block Party?

Currently Block Party is in invite-only beta testing. Please sign up for the waitlist here. If you have any friends already in the beta, you also ask one of them to send you an invite.

2 Security and privacy

2.1 Why does Block Party require two-factor authentication?

We take your privacy and security very seriously. Two-factor authentication is standard best practice to ensure that only you have access to your account and someone else can't easily hack into it. This is of particular concern given that online harassers and attackers can be exceptionally persistent in trying to compromise your accounts.

Two-factor authentication refers to having two ways of verifying your identity. The first is with your email/username and password. For the second, you can choose between using your phone to receive a text message with a login code, or using an app like Google Authenticator or Authy. Many people find text message more convenient, though an app is more secure. We offer either or both options.

Digital security hygiene is an easy thing to put off to later. We'd rather insist on it now so your account is secure by default.

2.2 Do Helpers also need to set up two-factor authentication?

Yes. One of the reasons that all Block Party users are required to set up two-factor authentication is precisely because there are second-order effects when someone's account is hacked. Someone who has added Helpers to their account would also be at risk if one of their Helpers had their account compromised. This has been an attack vector on other social sites; for example, someone gets into your friend's account and then can view your data. On Block Party, we require that everyone set up two-factor authentication for that extra layer of protection.

2.3 Why does Block Party ask for so many permissions from Twitter?

Because of how the Twitter API bundles their permissions, the only way that Block Party can get access to mute and block functionality is to request the highest level of access, which comes with a long list of other permissions. It's unfortunately more than we'd like to ask for, but our core service depends on being able to mute and block through the API.

2.4 Does Block Party work with protected Twitter accounts?

Block Party works best for public accounts receiving a certain threshold of (public) @mentions. If your Twitter account is protected, some Block Party functionality may not work as expected.

3 Lockout Filters and Lockout Folder

3.1 How do Lockout Filters work?

Lockout Filters helps filter out the people on Twitter that are more likely to send you unwanted or harassing content. You get to decide who you’re in the mood to hear from and can change the strength of Block Party’s filters accordingly. Anyone that we mute for you on Twitter is put into your Lockout Folder. From here, you can review and take action on any content we’ve muted so you’re less likely to miss out on anything important.

A more permissive version of Lockout Filters lets most people through to your @mentions, only muting the accounts that are most likely to be harassing, such as accounts with very few followers, no profile photo or that were just recently created.

A more restrictive version of Lockout Filters mutes people that you're not following by default, with exceptions, such as people followed by people you follow, verified users and people you've recently replied to.

3.2 How are Lockout Filters different from muting accounts directly on Twitter or using Twitter’s notification settings?

Twitter lets you disable notifications from certain types of accounts that you’d like to avoid but there’s no easy way for you to see content once it’s been muted. This means journalists can miss out on tips for stories, politicians can miss questions from constituents and activists can miss connecting with people that want to support their work. With Block Party, you can mute accounts with similar characteristics, e.g. accounts with no profile photo or accounts that aren’t verified, but you can also easily find any muted content in your Lockout Folder for review. You can also unmute people that you do want to hear from.

3.3 Does Block Party allow me to mute certain keywords or hashtags on Twitter?

Not yet, but it’s on our radar.

3.4 How often should I check my Lockout Folder?

Looking through potentially harassing or unwanted content isn’t easy so it’s up to you how often you want to review your Lockout Folder. Your home page will display the number of muted accounts in your Lockout Folder and we’ll also update you about any activity in your Block Party account in a daily or weekly email.

This also depends on how strict you’ve set your Lockout Filters. If you really need a break from the wider Twittersphere, for example, you can limit what you see on Twitter to only specific types of accounts — but that also means there’s a greater chance that we’ll mute some people that aren’t sending any harassing content. In that case, there might be more in your Lockout Folder to check on.

3.5 Does unmuting and blocking an account from my Lockout Folder carry through to Twitter as well?

Yes. Any accounts that you unmute or block from your Lockout Folder will be unmuted or blocked on your Twitter account.

3.6 What does it mean to add an account to my watchlist?

In your Lockout Folder, underneath each user card, there's an option to "Add to watchlist". When you add someone to your watchlist, they'll show up in the tab of your Lockout Folder called "Watchlist", and any new mentions from them will show up in there. You may want to keep the user muted, for example, but still keep an eye on them. This way, you can clear them out of your "Muted / Unreviewed" tab but still see updates from them. When there are new mentions from accounts on your watchlist, you will also get an on-site notification, unless you disable the notification setting.

4 Helper View

4.1 What does a Helper do?

You can add a Helper to your Block Party account to help review and take action on accounts in your Lockout Folder. We don’t want the burden of abuse to fall so heavily on those targeted by it; the Helper feature of Block Party is designed to let your community help out.

When you add a Helper, you can set their permissions to be able to view only, add accounts to your watchlist, or even mute and block on your behalf. Mute and block actions apply directly to your Twitter account, but Helpers can’t post tweets from your Twitter account nor can they access or send direct messages.

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