Twitter has added another new tool designed to help stop trolls in their tracks. The onus is very much on the user to avoid coming face-to-face with potential harassers, but as it only takes the changing of a few settings to achieve this it’s well worth taking the time to do so.
Most people who are active on Twitter will have encountered a troll by now. They tend to randomly reply to one of your tweets, or pop up in a conversation you’re having with someone else. And they’re often new users who don’t follow you and who have a default profile photo.
Filter Idiots Out of Your Twitter
Twitter has cottoned on to this pattern, and is therefore letting you filter those kinds of users out of your experience. This won’t stop those users from populating Twitter and ruining people’s day for no good reason. But it will at least keep them from invading your notifications.
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) July 10, 2017
The new filters mean you can now disable notifications from:
- Accounts that are new (that you don’t follow).
- Accounts that don’t follow you (that you don’t follow).
- Accounts you don’t follow.
- Accounts with a default profile photo (that you don’t follow).
- Accounts without a confirmed email address (that you don’t follow).
- Accounts without a confirmed phone number (that you don’t follow).
It’s really easy to set these filters up too. If you’re using Twitter on the web just go to your Notifications, click Settings, and check the boxes of the filters you want to enable. If you’re using Twitter on Android or iOS go to Notifications, tap the Gear icon, and tap Advanced Filters.
Interestingly Twitter’s approach to dealing with harassment has been to help the victims avoid it rather than punishing those doling it out. This isn’t a bad strategy as it saves Twitter from accusations that it’s curtailing free speech or targeting individuals based on their personal politics.
Cleaning Up the Ugly Side of Twitter
Twitter has had a serious troll problem for years, with people spending their days dishing out abuse to all and sundry for no reason. This is the ugly side of Twitter, and if people like me stand any chance of persuading people to start using Twitter, it needs to stop. Hopefully these new filter options, along with the other measures Twitter has rolled out in recent years, will help.
Are you currently on Twitter? If so, have you ever been the target of harassment? What form did it take? If you’re not on Twitter, has your decision got anything to do with the site’s reputation? Or are you just not interested? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Vincent Brown via Flickr