Oof. Yikes. A new copypasta has everyone softblocking problematic villains from well known stories, all in the name of the meme.
Urban Dictionary defines softblocking as “A phrase often used by Twitter users to describe the blocking of another person, then immediate unblock.”
Essentially, it forces the blocked party to unknowingly unfollow the user so they stop interacting with the user’s tweets.
It’s a passive-aggressive — but drama-skirting — way to get someone out of your social sphere. When Twitter users find out that someone has been problematic — whether it’s a terrible take they had on a marginalized group or allegations of sexual harassment — they’ll softblock the person to gently remove them from their online social lives.
In a classic case of milkshake ducking, someone will go viral for a clever tweet, other Twitter users will follow them based on that tweet, and then later someone else will uncover some slimy info about that person. Upon learning that information, Twitter users will denounce them or deny ever following them in the first place.
Twitter user @turing_police poked fun at the trend of quickly stanning and then canceling someone in the same breath. Referencing the villainous stepbrother Dio Brando in the anime JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, turing_police joked that they softblocked the vampire after finding out he had been “trying to end your familys bloodline for seven generations so that his malign magickal influence can ravage the world unchecked.”