It only took Twitter about a decade, but after a recent crash course in how shitty it can be to be one of its users, the social media platform began taking steps towards curbing online abuse. It announced a couple of filtering options back in August, which allow users to limit their notifications received to accounts they follow, as well as a “quality filter” for weeding out bots, spammers, and oh, yes, trolls. But if you’ve found your mentions firebombed in the wake of the presidential election, Twitter’s still trying to help you out. The company’s announced a more powerful mute option (“mute button” is a misnomer, right?), which will allow users to silence entire conversations they don’t want to participate in.
We know what you’re thinking—an expanded mute feature is nice, but it still puts the onus on the user to ward off online harassment. Well, Twitter also announced that a new reporting mechanism will be made available to users, though it didn’t elaborate on how it would work or when it will debut. So we’re still kind of at square one there. But you can take some cold comfort in knowing that tweeting directly at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey can get more vicious users banned, but only if you are kind of high profile and have already been subjected to hacks and other pernicious abuse.
Finally, Twitter’s ensuring the enforcement of its “hateful conduct policy” by retraining its support team and offering “improved internal tools” that, again, won’t be able to your average user. We look forward to all the calm and rational discourse that’s sure to follow this announcement (once we figure out how the new mute feature works).