Elon Musk’s pledge to remove the “block” option from X ticked off longtime supporter James Woods, who threatened to quit the site — prompting the tech mogul to say: “Then delete your account.”
The Oscar-nominated actor, who has 3.4 million followers on the app formerly known as Twitter, panned “greedy capitalist” Musk’s vow to do away with the block button over the weekend, saying that doing so will make the site “untenable” for public figures such as himself.
“In the midst of a libel suit I was targeted by thirty trolls the defendant enlisted to harass me,” Woods wrote in an X post on Saturday.
“X will be untenable for people like me, who are willing to share their identities,” the two-time Oscar-nominated actor wrote.
“If he does this, I will have no choice but to retire from this site.”
A supporter of Woods responded to the post, writing that “we got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Woods then elaborated, writing: “If Elon Musk removes the ability to block concerted harassment by trolls or organized political entities, how will ‘X’ be any different from Jack Dorsey’s horrid Twitter?”
“Musk, whom I once championed, is only doing this to protect his advertisers anyway,” Woods continued.
“Users of X are mere pawns to turn the site into an electronic shopping mall.”
Woods wrote: “The man I thought was a defender of free speech is just another greedy capitalist.”
“Disappointing, but not surprising.”
Musk did not take too kindly to Woods’ critique, writing in response: “Then delete your account.”
Several Musk supporters on X were alienated by the mogul’s announcement on Friday that he planned to do away with the block option.
Musk on Friday said that enabling X users to block others “makes no sense” and that they should instead opt to “mute” anyone whose posts they shut off.
“This is a huge mistake,” wrote the pro-Musk X account known as “Wall Street Silver.”
“Block is a critical feature on this app,” the account user wrote.
“Regretted minutes would skyrocket. There are certain evil people that users just don’t want following them or replying to them.”
Musk taunted his critics on Sunday, writing on X that it was “pretty fun blocking people who complain that blocking is going away.”
“How does the medicine taste?” Musk wrote.
Musk may not be able to follow through with his plan, however.
X users wrote a “community note” — which allows posters to offer clarifications and corrections on content that could be misleading — which states that doing away with the “block” feature could be a violation of the terms of service of Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store.
“If the ability to block users was to be removed, X would be in violation of the policies of the App Store as well as the Google Play Store,” the note read.
“Potentially, this could lead to X being removed from these platforms. There are no such policies for the web-app however.”
The App Store’s guidelines state that any app must include “the ability to block abusive users from the service.”
Google’s Play Store’s policy requires that apps offered through the service “provides an in-app system for blocking UGC (user-generated content) and users.”
The Post has sought comment from Apple, Google, and X.