Social Media – The Great Equalizer?

Wikipedia defines social media as, “… web- and mobile-based technologies which are used to turn communication into interactive dialogue among organizations, communities, and individuals.”  And, I would think that social media organizations would be looking to foster an “interactive dialogue”, regardless of opinion and personal feelings.

I would be wrong.  As I was searching Twitter the other evening, I came across a bunch of tweets from a local organization, and was sorry that I couldn’t attend their meeting.  I then tried to follow the Twitter account, when to my surprise I was immediately informed that:

I was confused.  I visited the organizations Twitter page and was able to see all the tweets, and could follow along with the hashtag they were using.  I just couldn’t follow them.

Why would an organization interested in fostering interactive dialogue on the topic of social media take the approach of blocking users they don’t agree with.  Would they also prevent me from attending one of their meetings?

But, and more to the point, why would you choose to engage on any social media platform and then proceed to prevent people from engaging with you.  Social media’s primary purpose, whether for business or personal, it to increase engagement, and to allow others to connect with you when situations don’t allow in-person meetings.

I certainly understand the need to be able to report and block users for spam (I’ve discussed that previously in my article How Not to Market on Twitter), and Twitter makes it fairly easy to do so.  But shouldn’t you have a reason to block someone before doing it?  I would never block someone just because their opinion differs from mine.  I would not block someone that has a different affiliation, whether it’s political or religious, since I don’t have to engage in the conversations with them.

Is social media the great equalizer?  I thought so.  At least until I was blocked.  Have you found that you were blocked by a user or organization?  Have you done the blocking?  Why?


About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .


  1. Ah you’re not alone, about a year ago I had the same issue with a PR Company that wasn’t happy after I showed one of their clients how to use Facebook in a different way. In this case it was more amusing because I had tried to reach out to the agency and tell them the laundry list of things they did wrong and was offering to help for free, their arrogance cost them a lot of money and then their behavior got them rather embarrassed when I was left to assume they was a bigger issue and had to put a tweet out before a tweetup (one that was cautious and tasteful) and it got more engagement and activity then their entire social history…

    It’s not that uncommon, most fear what they don’t understand and worse have no clue how to deal with it. I would say that if the organization that you ran into claims to be social, then they have clearly established their inability to practice what they preach. Again, not uncommon, but in this case it’s not a lack of action its direct action. In any case, lead by example, continue to share what you know in the hopes to education others and don’t get caught wasting your time on those that don’t deserve it.

    • CraigEYaris says:

      Thanks, Basil. I agree that we sometimes need to take the high road. Just calling yourself a social media group doesn’t make it so.

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