Blocking Patrons Sends Email Notifications

So a friend was informed that someone they removed from their project actually got an email notifications that they were blocked, which of course is the only way to remove people right now. (They were removed because of a lack of payment recently, not because they were actually being blocked.)

We were rather concerned and put off by hearing this because since we have to use this feature to remove people from projects, them getting a block notification is quite discouraging to the receiver, if not alarming. The person was really concerned and immediately went to my friend to ask why they were blocked (I assume they hadn’t noticed that their payments weren’t going through) even though they had already been unblocked again, but i guess they don’t get notifications of this.

Personally, I don’t like that people get block notification emails. If I’m going to -actually- block someone, i feel it should be quiet, not a prompt to make matters worse, since if I’m actually going to block someone, it is likely they are being disrespectful or harassing myself or my patrons. I don’t need them to get prompted that I took action and give them more incentive to attack me or my patrons on other platforms or to ban evade and create a new account just to continue being rude. (This happens.)

On top of this, since this is the only way to remove people from a project, this is a double whammy and could discourage people from actually pledging again at all because being blocked isn’t something usually taken lightly.

What is the status on getting a simple “remove” function for our patron lists? Is it possible to not have block notifications sent? It really seems like a bad idea to me. People out to harass others are going to just use it as fuel. Many creators remove people because they haven’t paid, not because we want to bar them from ever pledging again. Life happens and sending this notification is honestly just creating turmoil between creators and patrons that aren’t actually being blocked. @carla

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All of this is true. Blocking does send a notification to the patron. Blocking is also the only way for creators to remove patrons. We used to give creators the option to remove patrons but that went away a while ago and has been requested by creators to bring back for quite some time now.
I brought the specifics in your request to the product team to explore this as something to improve. I appreciate all the detail!
I hope that we can share more of the product roadmap here in the forum in the months to come!

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Thank you, Carla :slight_smile:

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I always send a message to the person I’m removing, telling them that they might get an email that they’re being blocked, but it’s just me, doing a little tidying up—and that blocking, then unblocking, is the only way Patreon lets me do that.

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I blocked a former patron who was exhibiting stalker-ish behavior – sending me inappropriate stuff via snail mail and tagging me inappropriately on other platforms. And now you’re telling me that they received a notification that I blocked them?

Patreon: this is a safety issue. Stop this now, please. Don’t call it “block” if blocking doesn’t function like it does on every other platform.

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that’s a good way to handle it, @lisavollrath! Just to clarify, are you removing them in the first place due to credit card declines?

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Usually, it’s two months of declines, and no response to PMs or emails about it. I work hard before I block.

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Oh wow, I have some patrons who have declined for a year or more, and I don’t know what to do about them! I find that some of them use “spam” email addresses, so any PMs or emails would be for naught :confused: Do you have other ways of contacting them too? I need to do something about all the declines I have.

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If they’re using a spam email address, they’re not getting notifications from Patreon that their pledges are being declined, either. Unless you know the person, and have access to ways of contacting them on other platforms, go ahead and block, then unblock them.

In my case, many of my patrons are also signed up to receive emails from me, which gives me a way to contact them off Patreon that can be tracked, through my email service.

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Hey, so, I just realized as well that the Block User function sends an email notification, and I saw there was already a thread about this.

Please, please change this.

I’m poking this thread because I just learned that a person in my community who has exhibited dangerous, abusive, and predatory behavior towards other members of my community has started up an account on Patreon. I went to pre-emptively block them and saw the warning that this would send an e-mail notification. I simply want to be sure that this person cannot view or follow my posts - particularly because I am concerned that they might see and potentially stalk or target people who comment on or interact with my posts. I have legitimate reasons to believe that an email notification would put me at risk of this person retaliating in some way.

As @Gwenn pointed out (and, judging by the likes, others seem to agree): this is not the way blocking works on other social media platforms, and it is a serious safety issue. Please make changing this a priority.

PS: I do understand that because you are a payment-collecting platform, unlike some other social media sites, you may have an obligation to inform users that a payment agreement is being terminated - but in such cases I don’t believe it is prudent to inform them of the reason. Couldn’t your notification simply state the fact of the payment being rejected and the platform then subsequently prevent the blocked user from viewing, following or supporting that user? Also, particularly if there is no payment/pledge involved (like in my situation), I see absolutely no reason why a user should be informed that they are being blocked.

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Thanks for flagging this @myrrh. Please know that if you’re having problems with a patron, contact the Trust & Safety team over at guidelines@patreon.com. If you have concerns like this, it is helpful for us to track that behavior and potentially remove that patron, especially in an unsafe way.

As to how this works in the product, this involves multiple product folks, so will share this directly with them.

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Hey Carla- since we’re chatting about this on the Discord, I thought I’d poke this thread again. Any update from the product teams involved?

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No immediate news, but it’s good to remind me and I’ve just touched base again to see what’s happening here. I know there’s a lot of stakeholders on this particular question, so it may be a while before I get any update.

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I understand there is a problem if a patron pays for membership because then they are owed the benefits of that membership. However, they should just have their money refunded/payment declined and no mention of the cause should be listed in an email. Bad people will weaponize that against creators.

ALSO, creators should be allowed to block former patrons without email notification. If someone drops membership, I should be allowed to block them without alerting the member.

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Patreon NEEDS to explain why they have this policy and why they got rid of our ability to remove patrons.

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Same issue Gwenn, I blocked a longtime abuser (who is now essentially an internet stalker) on Patreon a couple months ago. It definitely is concerning to know they received an email about it.

Abusive people sometimes retaliate for “rejection” like this. I think it would be helpful if Patreon would inform creators an email will be sent out to the blocked party, just so we can prepare for possible fallout.

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I was able to get a copy of the text we send out when this happens, just so you can see.

Hi [patron],

We’re writing to let you know that one or more of your pledges on Patreon has been removed by Patreon’s Trust and Safety team for engaging in bullying or harassment. If you’d like to review our community guidelines you can find them here.

Best,
Patreon Support

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Thanks for the info, Carla.

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well i want to say that i do had that problems, but i didnt really take that in consideration cuz i have most of my stuff posted on other sites, here is just like the recollection of the patronage.

now that i am doing even more stuff than before, then i should do the payment up front, cuz that is a thing that really helps at least for a few weeks, cuz really, there is a lot of stuff they can get off and post elsewhere, or just they can join, dont pay, and got out when the payment needs to be done.

as a creator that i am starting, i should make more stuff that would mean that i am worthy for them to join and pay.

but yeah i would block if they are trying to rejoin and dont pay

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Thank you, Carla!

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