Twitter has a serious troll problem. Harassment is rampant on the social network, and the recent U.S. presidential elections proved to be a significant challenge for Twitter. The service is regularly criticized for not doing enough to address the issue, but in its latest blog post, it announced a new feature: muting specific words that appear in your mentions – as one way in which they are trying to drown out the noise.
The ability to mute certain terms on Twitter has long been available if you use the Twitter app, TweetDeck. If you prefer to use the Twitter iOS or Android app, Twitter on the web, or any other client of your choice, you haven’t necessarily had access to this feature. While you have been able to mute users (including people you follow), you previously couldn’t mute certain terms or phrases you no longer want to see.
Want to stop getting notifications for Tweets that contain certain words, usernames, or hashtags? We're giving you that control. pic.twitter.com/awoNHUYbTG
— Safety (@safety) November 15, 2016
Twitter is finally giving its users the ability to mute words in their notifications. This means you will still be able to see any muted terms or phrases if they are tweeted (or retweeted) into your timeline by people you follow or in search results on Twitter. But if you’ve been facing a barrage of tweets directed at you containing any terms that you find offensive — you can now choose not to see them in your mentions.
What You Can Mute
Twitter has some guidelines on what you can mute:
- You can mute individual words, hashtags, entire phrases, usernames, and even emojis.
- Muting terms is case-insensitive so if you use caps or not, the word will be muted.
- Punctuation in the middle of a word or phrase will be taken into account, but not at the end of the word or phrase.
- Muting a word will mute both that term and the hashtag.
- You can mute notifications that include the mention of a specific Twitter account by including the @ sign before the username. This will mute mention of them in your notifications but won’t mute the user itself.
- Muting is available in all Twitter-supported languages.
- Muting is indefinite. Until you go back into your settings to remove the word or phrase from your list.
How to Mute Words
To filter out words in your mentions, the steps you will take depend on your platform:
Twitter for iOS App: Go to your Notifications tab and tap the Gear icon > Muted words > +Add muted word or phrase. You can then enter the words or hashtags you no longer want to see. Then tap Save > Done.
Twitter for Android app: Go to your Notifications tab and tap All > Muted words > Plus icon. You can then enter the words or hashtags you no longer want to see and tap Save.
Twitter.com: Go to Settings > Notifications > Mute specific words from your Notifications. You can then enter the words or hashtags you no longer want to see and click Add.
Once you’ve done this, you should see a list of words you have muted, with a muted button next to them.
The feature is currently being rolled out, and Twitter says it should be “rolling out to everyone in the coming days,” so if you’re not seeing the new feature just yet, it should be showing up soon.
Do you think Twitter is doing enough to address online harassment on its platform? Is this a step in the right direction? Let us know in the comments.