Twitter creates its version of a mute button in latest anti-abuse move

1 Mar 2017

Image: Sarach Naetimaetee/Shutterstock

By popular demand, Twitter creates an amped-up mute feature.

Twitter has rolled out more safety features including a mute feature to block abusive tweets and ‘eggs’ for weeks, months or indefinitely.

The move is the latest in a slate of moves by Twitter to curb online abuse.

In recent weeks it revealed that it would be impossible for people who have been suspended for abusive tweets to create new accounts, and shortly before that, it detailed new ways for users to report abusive accounts.

It also revealed a new feature that would temporarily place abusive accounts in a kind of ‘sin bin’.

See no evil, hear no evil

Twitter creates its version of a mute button in anti-abuse move

Image: Twitter

The latest development will enable users to decide what they don’t want to see.

Users will be able to mute specific words and specific usernames from their timeline, not just notifications.

They will also be able to mute ‘eggs’, which are accounts that use the generic Twitter egg logo because users haven’t uploaded profile photos.

Users will also be able to mute accounts that have no confirmed email address or phone number.

The ability to mute from the home timeline and decide what content is muted and for how long was a big request from users, explained Ed Ho, Twitter’s VP of engineering.

Ho said that Twitter is learning a lot as it evolves its safety features and more changes are coming.

“We’re continuing to improve the transparency and openness of our reporting process,” Ho said.

“You’ll start to hear more from us about accounts or Tweets that you’ve reported to our support teams – both when you report harassment directed at you or another account. You will be notified when we’ve received your report and informed if we take further action. This will all be visible in your notifications tab on our app.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years