Baltimore City Paper

Top 10 people Dan Rodricks should unblock on Twitter

Sun columnist and WYPR host Dan Rodricks, who has been saying stuff in public long before most CP readers were born, joined Twitter in 2009. Like most people who make their living saying things in public, he sometimes gets criticized for what he says or how he says it. Like most people who make their living saying things in public, he mostly ignores his critics. There's nothing wrong with this, because the critics are often people who comment on articles on The Baltimore Sun website (which seems to have replaced its Captcha system with a box that requires users to say something offensive about poor black people before allowing a comment to be posted).

Rodricks goes a step further: Unlike most people who make their living saying things in public, he blocks his critics on Twitter. In Twitter etiquette, it is totally acceptable to block whomever you feel like blocking; however, the vast majority of users only block spam, hate speech, or other users who are flooding their feeds with annoying scumbaggery. Rodricks, on the other hand, seems to see any critique or criticism as a blockable offense and has apparently racked up a Who's Who of Baltimore Twitterati that have confirmed he's blocked them (some of whom have sworn off donations or subscriptions to the outlets he works for in response.)

Of course, Rodricks is free to do whatever the hell he wants with his Twitter account, and if he'd like his mentions to be an echo chamber of praise for his observations from The Right Side Of History, he can keep it that way. However, the following users are practically Model Internet Citizens and don't deserve, in our humble opinion, to be on Rodricks' naughty list anymore:


@HousingPolicyWatch - Carol Ott has a salty mouth. She is also a Republican, which some people might consider a capital crime in Baltimore (or, at the very least, grounds for involuntary commitment). However, none of those are reasons worth blocking one of the best activists in the city.

@TheBrownWord - Kevin Cross is one of the nicest people on Baltimore Twitter, going out of his way to ask thoughtful questions and share opinions from all sides of an issue. Which makes blocking him even more of a dick move.


@BaltimoreGal - This one was pit bull related; Dan also apparently blocked @BmoreDog, which in my brief survey of its Twitter feed said nothing even remotely offensive. Blocking advocacy organizations? Sheesh.

@dennisthecynic - Dennis is a well-beloved staple of Baltimore Twitter who speaks his mind but is generally thoughtful and will engage anyone with reason and humor. Again, not a guy anyone in their right mind would block.

@paulmgardner - No one on Baltimore Twitter asks hard questions better than Paul. The poor guy appears to share a name with a scummy lawyer, so perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity? Probably not; it appears to have something to do with a hilarious picture.

@bosconet - It is not entirely certain, but it would appear that this longtime Baltimore Twitter stalwart was blocked for a confusingly worded agreement with another user on this list. Guilt by association? You be the judge.

@BrianGriffiths - I get it. Once you reach a certain point in your career, you should be able to pontificate about who's on the right side of history without any interference from people on the wrong side. One might argue that allowing someone who represents Red Maryland to stain one's mentions is simply a preventive measure for one's mental health. Fair enough. It still makes you look petty.

@BaltoSpectator - Baltimore's most famous citizen journalist has a long history on Twitter of being a bit obstreperous, and we've all thought about blocking him a time or two. However, most of us have come to our senses eventually about our dear director of the MacArthur Institute Center For Advanced Analysis & Critical Comparison. Dan, however, never has.

@CWillis_Worm - An Orioles lover! How could you block a fellow O's fan? Misuse of sarcasm, apparently.

@charmcitylwy - One of Baltimore Twitter's many diamonds in the rough, this downtown lawyer should probably have the opportunity to make a tearful confession about how it's not OK to joke about plagiarism. But he or she will never have the opportunity, because Dan's blocky finger is a little more than itchy; it's quivering like an alcoholic two days from his last Boh.


Full Disclosure: The author of this piece has been blocked by Dan Rodricks as well, although he admits that he totally deserved it:

Fuller Disclosure: City Paper editor Evan Serpick was blocked for this blog post when he was working at Baltimore Magazine: