It's true that Twitter has a nifty "block" function, if you really want to block someone who is annoying you or who you don't like from reading your tweets -- and I've certainly seen various celebrities use it to block some of their more annoying "haters." However, if you're a politician, it's probably a bit extreme to block the local media who cover you
. However, that's exactly what Texas Governor Rick Perry has done. He's blocked a few Texas political reporters from following his account. This seems particularly short-sighted for two key reasons:
- It won't actually stop them from reading his account. The "block" functionality is pretty simplistic. You're really only blocked if you're logged in, so a "blocked" reporter can simply log out and look directly at the account or just get someone else who can follow the feed to pass along, or even retweet the messages. So it doesn't really block the reporters from following Governor Perry.
- All it really does is call much more attention to the fact that Governor Perry apparently has a really thin skin around certain reporters -- perhaps not the sort of message he really should be giving out.
In other words, this action does nothing to actually stop those reporters from reading his feed, but plenty to damage the public perception of Governor Perry. It's difficult to see how there's any benefit at all in that for a politician. And, this wasn't just a decision of some political flack, either. Apparently, Perry's office has said that the only person who has access to Governor Perry's Twitter account is the Governor himself.