Jake Tapper, the blog-happy ABC newshunk, has been accused of blocking his detractors on Twitter, a service which allows Internet commenters to pester you 140 characters at a time.
Tapper-loathing twits are trying to make this a scandal about "transparency." it would be, were Twitter's "block" function not so laughably ineffective. While a block prevents a user from "following" someone on Twitter, and thus get their tweets delivered to one's cell phone or posted on one's Twitter homepage, the blocked user can still see their tweets on their Twitter page. So anyone Tapper blocks can simply type in "twitter.com/jaketapper" and see whatever he has to say.
It does, however prevent Tapper himself from reading replies posted to him on Twitter — so it's the Internet equivalent of sticking one's fingers in one's ears and saying, "La la la, I can't hear you!" Even worse, those blocked by Tapper have now started banding together and labeling his block a "badge of honor." Tapper finally relented and unblocked TPM.
Childishly indecorous? Perhaps, but that sums up the whole Twitter experience, right? Tapper, alas, seems swept up with early-adopter enthusiasm for Twitter. In a statement to Think Progress, he writes:
I'm trying to use twitter as a way to communicate with all sorts of people from all over the political spectrum, as a place for feedback, polite argument, and dialogue. I learned that the AP was taking Coach K's quote out of context from a tweet; it ended up on Good Morning America this morning. I want this way to talk to people. I don't want it to turn into what the comment section of my blog has become. The only people who have been blocked are people who make ad hominem attacks. They're still fully able to read my tweets — I just don't care to read theirs.
"Feedback, polite argument, and dialogue"? One would think Tapper, who has surely learned not to expect such rarities in the beat he covers, would be jaded enough not to look for them on Twitter.