Twitter, in addition to financial struggles leading to all sorts of buyout rumors, has long been trying to combat online abuse and harassment on its platform. While finding ways to censor such speech across the board is almost impossible, and would surely introduce ethical issues, the ability for individual users to control what they do and do not see is an important issue. Today, Twitter has announced that their existing “mute” feature will now also include the ability to mute keywords, phrases, hashtags, etc., even in notifications.
Join us after the break for more.
When the muting feature was first announced, a Twitter user could choose to hide, or “mute,” a specific user of the site if they felt they no longer wanted to see those tweets or replies. This was a valuable feature for many, but also came up short in a number of ways. Twitter seems to agree and over the next few days this new expanded feature should roll out to users.
After you get the update, you’ll be able to go into the existing mute section of your settings and add in keywords, phrases, hashtags, and even emojis to the list of things you do not want to see in your notifications. It’s important to note that as it stands now, muting words and hashtags only applies to notifications and retweets/replies. You will still see those words in your main timeline or search results.
“The amount of abuse, bullying, and harassment we’ve seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years. These behaviors inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere. Abusive conduct removes the chance to see and share all perspectives around an issue, which we believe is critical to moving us all forward.”
Another feature being introduced is the ability to mute an entire conversation if you no longer want to receive notifications for it. This option will be found in the detail menu for any tweet within that particular conversation. Again, it’s important to note that this applies only to notifications for the conversation and you’ll still be able to see all the tweets on the site itself.
Twitter has also retrained all of their support teams about this new feature as well as giving attention to hateful speech in the context of cultural and historical issues to be better equipped to identify and handle reports of abuse or harassment.
Do you plan to take advantage of these new mute features? What kind of impact, if any, do you think this will have in regards to lessening or combating online harassment?
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