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Twitter takes one small step toward addressing harassment


Twitter notoriously does very little to curb online harassment, and, in fact, has fostered an environment conducive to abusive trolling. But today, the social media company has announced that it’s making tiny little baby steps toward making Twitter a safer place for its users. In a post on the company’s blog, Twitter detailed its plans to roll out a setting that will allow users to choose to only see mobile and desktop notifications from accounts that they follow, eliminating the annoying process of having to individually block every single troll that ends up blowing up your mentions.

Twitter also revealed its plans for a quality filter, which is also designed to limit the visibility of trolls. According to Twitter, here’s what the new feature means for users:

The filter can improve the quality of Tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior. Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience. It does not filter content from people you follow or accounts you’ve recently interacted with – and depending on your preferences, you can turn it on or off in your notifications settings.


In other words, the filter will help weed out spammers, bots, and trolls, so say goodbye to all those eggs (including Ryan Murphy?). Certain special (verified) Twitter users have already had versions of these new features, but the changes are an attempt to equalize the Twitter experience between the blue check haves and the blue check have nots.

The changes come just a week after a BuzzFeed News report on Twitter’s decade of #harassment. They’re a step in the right direction, but are hardly an active affront on abuse and harassment, and will really only allow users to opt out of seeing a lot of spam. But online harassment is often targeted, and it’s unclear if these steps will do anything to really curb the kind of rampant but specific abusive that users—mostly women and people of color—experience. It’s more like harassment concealer than harassment prevention.


[via BuzzFeed]

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