To Mute or To Block? That is the Question!

Google+ provides two functions for limiting the ability of people to interact with you: you can Mute or Block the people. It is important to understand the difference so that you know which function to use.

Mute prevents the profile or page you mute from notifying you in the future. If you mute someone, you will still be able to see each other's profiles and posts, and to comment on each other's posts. Their posts will even continue to appear in your Home stream (assuming you have them circled, that is). Nothing the person you mute does, however, will trigger a Google+ notification for you.

Block is a much more powerful too.  When you block someone:
* You will not see their content in your stream (even though you'll remain in their circles).
* They will be be removed from any circles of yours that they appear in.
* They will be removed from your extended circles, even if you have mutual connections.
* They will not be able to add new comments to your content. 
* They will not be able to see your comments on other people's posts.
* They will not be able to view any of your posts that you share after you blocked them. (They will, however, still be able to see posts you shared with them before you blocked them.)
* They won't be able to mention you in posts or comments. 

Limitations to blocking
There are a couple of limitations to blocking:
* Blocking is only effective for the profiles and pages you block. Depending on the sharing options you choose, someone you block may still be able to see your shared information if they use a different profile or page, or if they visit your profile while signed out of the Google account you blocked.
* Blocking does not prevent community owners and moderators from seeing your posts and comments in their communities. That makes sense, of course, because you are effectively a guest in their communities. They need to be able to see everyone's community posts to manage their communities effectively.

Choosing the right tool
Your first step in dealing with annoying people should generally be to uncircle them. That can be enough to solve many minor problems. Mute is the best tool if all you want to do is stop notifications. Using Block for that is overkill. Block however, is appropriate for people who you feel a need to complete exclude from your Google+ experience. It is the tool to use for people who are offensive, who you do not want to see anything from again, and who you do not want to have seeing your posts or even your profile.

Dealing with extreme problems
If the reason you want to Block someone is because you believe their behavior violates the Google+ User Content and Conduct Policy (http://www.google.com/+/policy/content.html), please report the specific posts or comments you believe to be in violation and possibly the profile or page, as well. It is very important to report the specific items you believe to be in violation in addition to the profile so that the Google+ Abuse Team can see exactly what you perceive to be the problem.

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