With this launch, we’re allowing people to bypass the waitlist for signup by paying a one-time “anti-troll toll”. At the same time, free signup is still available by joining the waitlist first, giving us a chance to review your application (we aim to send out invites within a couple days, but it can be within minutes on a work day). Additionally, if you have a friend already on Block Party, they can send you an invite for immediate access.
There are lots of reasons that services stay in “beta”, or restrict access. The most obvious one is that something is still in development and not ready to support a wider audience yet. Many people have assumed this of Block Party because we’ve kept waitlist gating until now.
The ironic truth is that we didn’t open up our anti-harassment service because of the harassment we get for building it. People have trolled our waitlist form regularly, the more polite ones telling us how stupid the idea of Block Party is, the more vulgar ones much more explicit, misogynistic, and disgusting. In the interests of keeping the service safe, we’ve opted for caution in allowing new users access to Block Party. This goes against the standard Silicon Valley ethos of growth at all costs, and surely it has cost us in user numbers, but given what we are building, we think it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate.
We hope that by introducing this anti-troll toll, we can strike a good balance of deterring attacks against Block Party itself, with actually doing what we aim to do, giving more people a safe online experience where you’re in control.
P.S. If you are so inspired, we’d love to hear from you on Product Hunt! Feedback, comments, feature requests?