Twitter has finally decided to give its users the option to mute particular conversations on the social media platform and also filter out specific words and phrases from tweets. This move by Twitter has two great implications. One, users with viral tweets may not have to see hundred of strange replies, and two, users can opt out of conversations and discussions in which they no longer have any interest in. Apart from that, users can mute notifications on specific TV shows and sports matches which they might not have watched yet. But this mute feature will have no effect on their timelines. In a blog post, Twitter wrote, “This is a feature we’ve heard many of you ask for, and we’re going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time.”
But the most important significance of this move is that Twitter has finally responded to allegations that it is in denial about the issues of harassment and abuse on the site. The website has also improved its feature to report hate speech alongside upgrading the internal tools and training to deal with the reported content. Twitter said, “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. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse.”
Saying the there has been a rise in the number of bullying, abuse and harassment cases online, in the recent years, Twitter added, “These behaviours inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere. Abusive conduct removes the chance to see and share all perspectives around an issue, which we believe is critical to moving us all forward. In the worst cases, this type of conduct threatens human dignity, which we should all stand together to protect.”
There have been many reports which suggested that the harassment issue was one of the main reasons that the company could not find a buyer, including Salesforce and Disney who once considered the option but opted out. The issue of abuse and fake news has been on the rise, especially during and after the US elections.
In order to use the new feature of ‘mute’, follow the procedure. For the app on Apple devices, Click on Notifications tab then select the gear icon and click on the Muted words option. Then type words that are needed to be muted. Click Save and then click Done. For the app on Android devices, Click on Notifications tab then click on All. The select Mute words and click on the plus icon. Now, type words you want to mute and click on Save. You will now see a mute icon next to each entered word or hashtag.