Popular anti-troll tool Block Party shuts downReading Time: 2 minutes
Great job, Twitter.
Last week, Twitter launched a new API subscription tier that was supposedly meant for ‘startups.’
Instead of drawing startups in, though, it’s already claiming victims. Block Party, a popular anti-harassment tool, has now gone on ‘indefinite hiatus.’
‘We fought hard to stay here, but recent changes have made it impossible for now,’ the company said in a tweet.
Block Party was a tool that helped Twitter users protect themselves from harassers, spammers, and trolls on the platform. Without access to Twitter’s API, it cannot function, and the Twitter Pro API ‘access tier,’ which costs $5,000 per month, was apparently too pricey for Block Party to continue.
‘We’re heartbroken that we won’t be able to help protect you from harassers and spammers on the platform, at least for now; we fought very hard to stay, and we’re so sorry that we couldn’t make it happen,’ the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. ‘In practice, this means when you log into Block Party, everything will be read-only. Lockout filters will no longer run, block lists will no longer process, and you won’t be able to take action on anything in your Lockout Folder.’
Not everything is lost, however; Block Party, the company, is turning its attention to a recently announced, new safety product called Privacy Party. ‘It’s a browser extension that reduces your risk of harassment, cyberstalking, impersonation, fraud, spam, and other online attacks with automated privacy playbooks for your social media accounts,’ the company said.
Many Twitter developers greeted the API Pro tier with a negative sentiment as it was simply too expensive for most startups to bear. As one user put it, ‘Idk what kind of ‘startup’ you think wants to spend 5x the cost of their entire infrastructure on your overpriced data.’
Twitter used to have free API access, but new CEO and owner Elon Musk did away with it and started charging a $42,000 per month minimum for Enterprise API access. There’s also a free tier, as well as a $100-per month Basic tier, both being way too limiting for most apps to function. An additional problem with the freshly introduced Pro tier was that it took Twitter several months to launch it, which was just enough time for a big chunk of Twitter’s ecosystem to wither.
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