Elon Musk's recent proclamation about removing the block feature from app X stirred up the tech world, yet again. But is it even plausible? In a nutshell—no. And here’s why.
Both Apple and Google Play Store have specific guidelines that apps must adhere to for them to be hosted. Any violation of these terms would lead to the app being delisted, effectively killing it.
For Apple, while the wording might be vague, the implication is evident: individual users or services must have the ability to block other users. Google Play is even more explicit, leaving no room for interpretation.
Although Musk has been known to skirt around app store policies in the past—on app naming conventions and content moderation, for instance—this seems to be a bridge too far. It's unlikely that either Apple or Google would budge on such a fundamental user safety feature.
Elon Musk suggests that removing block features would increase ad impressions by allowing more content exposure. He has also hinted at difficulties in supporting block lists for X’s system. While the rationale is unclear, the implications for user experience and safety are concerning.
Following Musk's statement, X’s CEO Linda Yaccarino has been busy in damage control mode, attempting to downplay the impact of his words. However, given the app store policies in place, the likelihood of such a radical change is minuscule.
So, while Elon Musk's comments might make headlines and stir the pot, the feasibility of his latest claim is negligible. This seems to be yet another instance of Musk garnering attention without much substance to the claim, which, ironically, is giving him exactly what he seems to want: more eyes on him—and maybe on X, too.
But it’s crucial to focus on facts, and the fact is: block features are here to stay, for good reasons.