Slack is not safe

Does Slack have a block button yet?

No!

How do I block someone on Slack?

You can't.

What is the problem here?

If you share a Slack workspace with someone who decides to harass you via Slack, the only action you can take to immediately stop them doing it is to stop using that Slack workspace.

Sure, you can report them to a workspace admin, but I bet that's gonna take a while, and you'll still have the same problem if all they say is "well this person needs to do their work too, so we can't deactivate their account."

Ultimately, this means that you are not in control of who is allowed to message you on a Slack workspace.

What can I do to help?

If you're in a Slack workspace, use the /feedback command in the message box to send feedback to Slack directly. Tell them that you don't feel safe without a block button.

If you're able to influence the decision makers at your company that uses Slack: tell them that they should look for other platforms that have block buttons.

Boycott Slack at work if you can. List an alternative contact method in your profile, then log out of Slack on all your devices.

If you have a story that you're comfortable sharing, get in touch, I'd like to publish some anonymous accounts of how this missing feature causes harm. email me: slack-not-safe {at} lexbailey (dot) me

You can also sign this petition: https://www.coworker.org/petitions/slack-add-a-block-button-to-protect-victims-of-harassment

The same petition on mozilla's website: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/campaigns/petition-slack-block-abuse/

Is Mattermost better?

No. Mattermost behaves in the same way as slack. There is no block button.

But you can mute people on Slack, why not just do that?

Yes, but this doesn't prevent them contacting you. If they send you a DM then you still get a number bubble by their name, and unless you read the message then you have a constant reminder that this person exists and wants to harass you. The harasser has won in this case. Mattermost does the same thing and shows you the number bubble regardless of mute. You will also still see their messages in channels that you're both in, and they will be able to read yours. This is no substitute for a block feature.

Which other enterprise communication systems have block buttons?

Rocket.chat does, Zoom does, Google chat does.

Zulip has a user mute button, which as far as I can tell does what I would expect a block button to do.

There is also Discord, which is not marketed for enterprise, but does have a block button.

This sounds familiar

Maybe you're thinking of when they made the problem even worse.

https://www.theverge.com/2021/3/24/22348422/slack-connect-direct-message-abuse-harassment

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelsandler/2021/03/24/slack-admits-it-made-a-mistake-after-users-said-its-new-dm-feature-could-enable-harassment/

https://uk.pcmag.com/communications/132437/slack-quickly-rethinks-dm-feature-due-to-abuse-and-harassment-concerns

https://mashable.com/article/slack-connect-dm-invite-harassment-concerns

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2021/03/slack-promises-to-update-easy-to-abuse-connect-dm-feature/

https://blog.malwarebytes.com/security-world/2021/03/slack-hurries-to-fix-direct-message-flaw-that-allowed-harassment/

The problem is still there. Perhaps it's back to just being internal to workspaces, but it's still a huge problem.

What's Slack's official word on the matter?

They haven't made direct comments on harassment risk outside of what the news articles above have reported on, plus insubstantial tweet replies, but they do have a webpage explaining that the responsibility for this is delagated to their customers, effectively taking no responsibility for the safety of their users.

https://slack.com/intl/en-gb/reporting-workspace-conduct

I work for Slack and want to discuss this with you

Great! Get in touch.

email me: slack-not-safe {at} lexbailey (dot) me

Something on this web page is incorrect

I'd like to correct it, get in touch and let me know what's wrong.

email me: slack-not-safe {at} lexbailey (dot) me