Abstract: This article introduces and discusses bot-based collective blocklists (or blockbots) in Twitter, which have been developed by volunteers to combat harassment in the social networking site. Blockbots support the curation of a shared blocklist of accounts, where subscribers to a blockbot will not receive any notifications or messages from accounts on the blocklist. Blockbots support counterpublic communities, helping people moderate their own experiences of a site. This article provides an introduction and overview of blockbots and the issues that they raise about networked publics and platform governance, extending an intersecting literature on online harassment, platform governance, and the politics of algorithms.
Recommended citation: Geiger, R. Stuart. (2016). “Bot-based collective blocklists in Twitter: the counterpublic moderation of harassment in a networked public space.” Information, Communication, and Society 19(6). http://stuartgeiger.com/blockbots-ics.pdf