Over the past two weeks and more the Empire Avenue staff have done a fairly extensive analysis of how we handle “Blocking”, “Muting” and what it means to the site now and into the future. We are aware that Blocking is handled inconsistently throughout the service and this blog post is a start to fixing those inconsistencies now and into the future.
To aid in fixing the issues we have written up a “Block Policy” which we have shared below. It is our manifesto on what “Block” and “Mute” are meant to do, over the next two weeks (up to May 6th 2013) we will take the time to make sure that “Block” and “Mute” are implemented exactly as written below. There will be some changes you should be aware of:
1. You may be kicked out and blocked from Communities where you have blocked the Founder or they have blocked you.
2. You may see content and profiles that you have blocked, because as noted below, Block is meant to disable direct interaction between people (as noted below).
3. You may be unable to interact with people you have already blocked in various parts of the service where you might have been able to do before as we implement Block fully.
Please be aware of what “Blocking” will do by May 6th 2013, and we will ensure that all our on-site documentation reflects what will happen as described below.
Again, this policy is what is intended, and between now and May 6th 2013, the service will reflect the policy below!
Q. What is “Block” intended to do on Empire Avenue
Empire Avenue is a network where members on the service can interact with each other. Blocking is intended as a way to stop another individual on the service from interacting directly with you. Blocking is not meant to avoid that individual or that individual’s content on the service altogether. Think of “Block” as a way to prevent someone from coming up to you and talking to you on the street, in your house or by phone, however, you may still see that person on the street.
Block is therefore not a substitute for reporting someone for abusive behaviour, including SPAM, harassment or any other offense of our Terms of Service. Please also understand that the Internet, as with the world, is filled with people of differing opinions, we only take action against individuals where they break our Terms of Service.
Q. Can I Block someone and then Unblock them?
We consider Blocking someone to be a serious gesture to the intended party. We do not wish for you to take such action lightly. For that reason once you block someone, that person must remain blocked for at least 7 days before you can remove the block.
Q. What happens when I Block someone?
Blocking is intended to stop direct interaction between two individuals/profiles on Empire Avenue. When you block a person:
- Cannot invest in each other, both parties will get an error.
- If you are invested in a person when you block, both parties will do an automatic sell at the current price of their respective shares. Commissions will be charged.
- Neither party will be able to follow, list or recommend each other. We will automatically remove you from each others lists when a Block event occurs.
- Neither person will be able to send a message or shout out to each other.
- Neither party will be able to join or be invited to a community Founded by the other.
- You cannot invite nor be invited into any community by each other.
- You cannot respond to a thread started by the other party
- You will be automatically kicked out of any communities where the other is the Founder.
- You will be unable to complete missions of each other
- You will be unable to like/dislike/comment on missions of each other
This does not mean you will never see the blocked person or their content:
- Community Since a thread or communication between a group of people must be seen in its fullness to appreciate context, posts to a community by one blocked party will be visible to the other blocked party. In the case of a private community both parties must be members of the community.
- Missions You will still be able to see Missions that the blocked party has created and they will see yours. They will not be able to interact with the Mission.
- Profile You will be able to see the full profile of an individual you have blocked. However, you will not be able to interact with the profile.
- Third Party Apps We do not pass along the list of blocks to third party apps on the service. Any interactions done through our API will still be subject to your Block settings (such as buying/selling shares, sending messages, etc). However, you may end up interacting with that blocked person directly on the third party itself (for example a forum hosted on the third-party site).
- Chat and Chatrooms Our current 3rd party chat system does not implement the ability to use Empire Avenue’s Block list. While this may change in the future, for now please take note.
- Mutual Friends You will see interactions between the blocked person and mutual friends and may even get notified indirectly about the blocked person.
Q. I had an altercation with an Empire Avenue member outside Empire Avenue what should I do?
We cannot and do not police behaviour on sites outside of Empire Avenue including 3rd Parties using our API. However, if any interaction from the 3rd party happens through our API then our API will honour your block settings (such as buying/selling shares, sending messages, etc). For a specific example, we cannot do anything about messages sent to you on Facebook from an Empire Avenue member through Facebook, please contact Facebook or the platform on which the incident happened.
Q. Will the person I am blocking be notified?
We will not send a notification, however, they will likely see the automated sell of shares on the Stock Market and during other interactions may understand that you have blocked them. Please be aware that you will not be able to hide the fact that you have blocked them.
Q. Muting Vs. Blocking
Muting means that notifications of interactions by the Muted person will no longer delivered to you, however, the interactions themselves are not blocked. For example, a person can send you a private message, which you will receive, however you will not have an e-mail notification nor a pop-up alert on the site notifying you of the interaction.
Unlike unblocking, you may Mute and Unmute at your leisure. There are no restrictions on unmuting someone. We will not notify the muted party of your muting them.
Q. Can I block someone I have muted and what happens when I unblock them? Are they still muted?
Blocking will automatically mute someone. Unblocking will remove any previous Mute setting.