Why do you do the weird intermittent blocking thing?

Cody Libolt
For the New Christian Intellectual
3 min readDec 3, 2022


A: Thanks for asking.

See the featured image for an indication of my thought process.

Also see this:

A faithful witness does not lie,

but a false witness breathes out lies.

A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,

but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.

Leave the presence of a fool,

for there you do not meet words of knowledge.

The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,

but the folly of fools is deceiving.

(Proverbs 14:5–8)

And this:

Blessed is the man

who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners,

nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

(Psalm 1:1–2)

I believe there is a lot of power in moral sanction — either given or withdrawn.

I block people if I don’t want to be interacting with them in public for the time being.

Sometimes I might change my mind on that.

An analogy would be how I might invite someone to one party at one time, but not to another party later on.

People’s impressions of each other and relationships with each other change over time.

See this related article:

I’m modeling an approach I have put a lot of thought into. I want people to imitate me in it.

At a given time, I’d rather not be seeing the posts of certain people. Muting is good for that.

But blocking is different.

Blocking gives the other person the ability to see that they are being blocked. That communicates something to them.

The meaning is essentially:

“I don’t appreciate what you do on twitter or facebook, and I don’t want any part of it. I don’t want to discuss things with you in public right now.”

When I block people, it is because I want people to know that this is my evaluation. (And I want to remember it, myself. Blocking is my filing system.)

Secondarily, I want to make it less convenient for them to engage me in a public discussion.

They can still get my attention. I have a public email address, and I unblock people when they ask me to, typically.

(At least for a while. I might block again if I keep seeing the person posting repulsive material.)

Thin Skin?

People often claim I block too fast due to having thin skin.

That is not how I see it. I block for strategic purposes.

I am taking a course of action designed to collect around me a group of people who are capable of having discussions that I judge to be valuable.

If I see people clicking “like” on things I find reprehensible, I might block them for the “like,” even if it has nothing to do with me.

The goal is to shift the kind of experience that good, honest people have when they interact with me. People will be able to interact with me without having to deal with gross losers.

Short term, this approach makes a lot of people angry at me, and it hurts my reach. But I do not care.

Long term, it makes it so I can have a strong influence on a small group of people that I want to invest in.

Some people sort themselves out as being up to the level of the standards I hold. They get more access to me — and to each other — because other people get less access.

Access to oneself is one of the most valuable things a person can offer to another person. We should take it very seriously.