I love the block feature on most services.  The block feature was what made it possible for me to get all the way to October before bowing out on FriendFeed (something that Robert Scoble and I discussed in Austin this week). I’ve used it from time to time on Twitter.

Yet, as Michael and I are about to discuss on a liveblog this evening, we’re all about the idea of open. Open discussion, open source, open as in transparency … these are all things that are nice and desirable traits in most of the work I do.

Is it antithetical to those goals, then, to block folks?  That certainly seems to be the idea that Think Progress and Talking Points Memo seem to be advancing tonight.

From Think Progress:

ABC News’s Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper is a big fan of transparency. He has criticized the Obama administration for not allowing press during certain public appearances […] But according to several journalists — including David Kurtz of TPM, Adam Serwer of the American Prospect, and at least four other people — Tapper is now blocking them from following his Twitter feed.

Here’s my question: How are the two things connected?

Governmental transparency is one thing – if the Whitehouse team suddenly blocked me from reading their Twitterstream, we might have a discussion.  I have no constitutional right or even an implied right to read Jake Tapper’s twitterstream.  Furthermore, if I’m being ritually antagonistic to the man, I fully expect to be blocked or ignored.

That’s not anti-transparancy.  That’s sanity preservation.

If John Culberson decides to start blocking folks on Twitter, we might have a ball-game.  Talk to me then.

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