FOI request detail

Accounts that have been blocked and muted by TFL on Twitter

Request ID: FOI-0836-1819
Date published: 16 July 2018

You asked

Could you please tell me the usernames (eg @username) of everybody that has been blocked and everybody that has been muted on each of your accounts. For example you said that 48 accounts are muted and 111 accounts are blocked on @tfltrafficnews so please list all 48 muted accounts and all 111 blocked accounts, and then you say 1 account is muted and 3 accounts are blocked on @elizabethline so please list the 1 muted account and the 3 blocked accounts, etc etc etc, and then please do the same for each of your 30 accounts, i am sure you get the idea of what i am requesting. Finally for each account that is blocked and each account that is muted please provide the reason that they were blocked or muted.

We answered

Our Ref:          FOI-0552-1819

Thank you for your request received on 27 June 2018 asking for information about accounts which have been blocked by TfL’s Twitter accounts.

Your request has been considered in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act and our information access policy. I can confirm we do hold the information you require.

However, in accordance with the FOI Act, we are not obliged to supply any of the information as it is subject to a statutory exemption to the right of access to information under section 40(2).

In this instance the exemption has been applied as the information you have requested is personal data. Disclosure of this information would be a breach of Data Protection legislation, specifically the first principle which requires all processing of personal data to be fair and lawful. It would not be fair to disclose this personal information when the individuals have no expectation it would be disclosed and TfL has not satisfied one of the conditions which would make the processing ‘fair’.

This exemption to the right of access to information is an absolute exemption and not subject to an assessment of whether the public interest favours use of the exemption.

As stated in our previous response, our process does not limit the user’s ability to see TfL’s social media posts. We understand if customers are unhappy about a particular issue and would not block/mute their account unless they are abusive.

Blocking/muting of an account ensures that we will no longer have to view the offensive or spam content that a particular account is sending to us. This means that the team in the Contact Centre are not subjected to this content and it also makes our processes more efficient, as it removes the multiple spam tweets that bots or trolls might send us from the inbox of tweets we monitor.
Please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Gemma Jacob
FOI Case Officer
FOI Case Management Team
General Counsel
Transport for London

[email protected]

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