Ten years after its foundation, Twitter is to enable users to mute conversations and avoid being notified of tweets containing specific words or phrases.
Reporter: Adrian Vasilescu | Sub-Editor: Alina Isachenka
The update is effective when it comes to protecting users with viral tweets from engaging in never-ending conversations, allowing for ditching them in a silent manner. The users will also have the option to mute the names of TV shows or sporting events they have not seen yet in order to avoid spoilers. They will not appear in their notifications. The mute tool will allow users to mute entire conversation threads without blocking others or removing said threads from their timelines, so they will remain unaffected.
Part of the reason for the new updates is Twitter’s intention to battle the presence of hate speech, harassment and trolling on its platform. Alongside the aforementioned changes, the company also improved the users’ option to report the hate speech, as well as developed more effective means of moderating reported content.
The company states that the amount of harassment has risen for the past few years, claiming that behaviour of that sort discourages people from participating on the platform.
“Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Today we’re giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening,” Twitter said.
All in all, the new measures will do little to stop the harassment itself. They will essentially play the role of ‘makeup’ and will mainly conceal the abuse issues rather than fix them.
“We don’t expect these announcements to suddenly remove abusive conduct from Twitter. No single action by us would do that. Instead we commit to rapidly improving Twitter based on everything we observe and learn,” the company stated.