Block Party, an anti-harassment service designed to combat offensive content on Twitter, is the latest third-party app to leave the platform in light of Twitter locking most of its API access behind a paywall. Announced in a blog post last night, Block Party’s anti-harassment tools for Twitter are being placed on an immediate and indefinite hiatus, with developers claiming that changes to Twitter’s API pricing (which starts at $100 per month) “made it impossible for it to continue.” ‘Block Party’s Twitter’ product in its current form”.
Block Party services have allowed users to automate a great deal of moderation on Twitter, with filter and block list features that automatically block accounts that like or retweet posts you don’t want to be associated with. The company said that everything from its Twitter service — including free and premium account features — will stop working today, May 31, and users will have access to a read-only archive of their Lockout folder and blocklists until June 30.
“We’re saddened that we won’t be able to help protect you from harassers and spammers on the platform, at least for now,” Block Party said in the blog post. In an FAQ addressing the hiatus, the company added, “We’ve tried hard to stay on the platform, and we still hope to return in the future. We’re very sorry for any impact this disruption may have had on your safety or your experience on Twitter.”
Block Party notes that while its flagship Twitter product is on hiatus, the company is still developing additional services like the new Privacy Party browser extension. Privacy Party can be used to reduce harassment, online stalking, impersonation, and fraud via social media accounts, and is currently available in initial release for existing Block Party users.
Block Party and several other third-party Twitter apps have relied on the social media platform’s free API access, which was limited to 1,500 tweets and effectively replaced with a paid basic level earlier this year. The new base tier allows accounts to post 3,000 tweets for $100 per month (which may not be enough for many third-party non-profit services) while some enterprise-level plans are said to cost up to $42,000 per month.
Earlier this month, Twitter had to reverse course and make exceptions for weather, emergency, and transportation services that were forced to leave the platform due to the high cost of new API levels.