One of Twitter’s biggest problems has been the inability to counter the constant harassment that happens on its platform. Online harassment is not news in social media sites, but Twitter has been found consistently not to provide people with tools that allow people to filter out these offenders effectively.
To Twitter’s credit, we have tools that help us combat harassment on the platform and these are the mute and block buttons. They have helped users to a degree in weeding out the offenders but it is still not enough still. That is why Twitter today announced changes that will help you have more control over the content in your profile.
The first big change is on the mute button. Currently on the official apps and website, you are able to mute a person but now you will be able to do more. Twitter will extend that functionality into notifications so that you will be able to mute practically anything; from keywords to phrases and also entire conversations. Twitter improved on the block button’s functionality a while ago and it was only a matter of time they expanded the mute button’s functionality too.
The next step is a move by the company to stem out abuse according to the various categories of people on Twitter. The company will now allow you to report such abuse directly, either for yourself or for another person so that it they will be able to process the request faster.
The final move is on Twitter’s side that deals with the enforcement of these guidelines. “We’ve retrained all of our support teams on our policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct, and implemented an ongoing refresher program,” the company explained on the blog. Also, they have improved their internal tools and systems in order to deal effectively when they receive reports.
The company says that features like the expanded functionality of the mute button will be rolled out to everyone in the coming days. They also iterated that we shouldn’t expect these announcements to have a instant impact to remove abusive conduct from the platform, but it is commendable they are working on improving on one of their biggest problems right now.