Elon Musk spars with actor James Woods over X’s blocking feature


Elon Musk was not shaken by actor James Woods’ threat to stop using X, should the social media platform get rid of its blocking feature: “Then delete your account,” the CEO countered.

The brusque reply, which the billionaire posted to X on Sunday, came after Woods, a one-time Musk supporter, vowed to leave the platform, formerly known as Twitter, if Musk stripped users’ ability to bar certain accounts from viewing, and interacting with their posts. 

“In the midst of a libel suit I was targeted by thirty trolls the defendant enlisted to harass me,” Woods said in a post last week when the news came out. “If [Musk removes X’s blocking feature], I will have no choice but to retire from this site.”

Musk, who calls himself a free speech absolutist, announced in a post last Friday that X would end users’ ability to limit their interactions with certain accounts “except for DMs,” adding in a later post that a block feature “makes no sense” for the platform. The potential change caused an uproar among users, some of whom, like Woods, have also vowed to leave X should the feature be removed. 

“I will absolutely delete my account and leave this app if X attempts to even *test* this policy, wrote one user. “It’s absolutely sick and disgusting.”

“As a female climate scientist, blocking is the only thing that makes my engagement here on Twitter/X possible,” another user said.

Examining Elon Musk’s Twitter rebrand to “X,” prospects of Threads


Obstacles to removing feature

It remains unclear if or when X’s account-blocking feature may come to an end. If the change goes into effect, X could be removed from the Google Play and Apple app stores — potentially deepening the social media platform’s financial troubles. Both digital storefronts require apps involving user-generated content to offer a blocking feature. 

X responded to CBS MoneyWatch’s request for comment with an email saying “We’ll get back to you soon.”

Boosting free speech — or revenue?  

In another post, Woods challenged interpretations of X’s policy change as a step toward promoting free speech on the platform, speculating that the decision had more to do with boosting the site’s ad revenue.

“Users of X are mere pawns to turn the site into an electronic shopping mall,” Woods said in a post on Saturday. “The man I thought was a defender of free speech is just another greedy capitalist.”

Last month, Musk revealed the social media company’s advertising revenue had plunged roughly 50%. X also faces competition from alternative microblogging platforms like Meta-backed Threads and Bluesky.

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