Twitter is taking some aggressive steps to fight online harassment in the platform's latest safety update, introducing new protections for its users. Starting on March 1, users will find advanced tools in their settings to better control their experience on the site. Those wondering how to filter out Twitter Egg accounts and certain keywords (including usernames) to better tackle trolls are in luck! Twitter has made blocking sketchy users — as well as muting words, phrases, or usernames from your timeline and notifications — incredibly easy.
Along with the new tools, Twitter announced in a blog post this week that it is taking preventative measures to combat trolling as well, currently testing an algorithm that could suss out abusive accounts before they are even reported. If the algorithm identifies an account as possibly problematic, they can put the user on a digital “time out” by limiting what they can do on the platform for a set period of time. If the user continues their behavior, Twitter can take steps to block them indefinitely.
With Twitters new and improved filter options, users can auto-screen what they see from what's often referred to as "Twitter Egg accounts" — accounts which still bear the egg-shaped default icon in the place of an actual profile photo. Furthermore, users can also mute accounts that have unverified emails and phone numbers.
As a lot of Twitter users who have been the victims of trolling can attest, there does seem to be a connection between anonymous egg accounts and harassment. Research has shown that the relative anonymity of the internet can inspire "deindividuation," or the temporary loss of identity, which can in turn result in people feeling free of the moral constraints they might feel they need to abide by in "real life." When that happens, trolling tends to emerge — and being able to hide behind an egg avatar makes it easy to keep trolling for as long as you like.
While Twitter's new tools won’t fix the problem of trolling all together, they will make it more difficult for trolls to maintain abusive accounts. Here's how to mute accounts using the Twitter egg as their profile photo:
While the update was released on March 1, not every Twitter user will be able to access the "advanced settings" right away; according to Twitter's blog post, the global rollout may take a few days or even a weeks. To check if you have the update, head on over to the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, tap on "updates," and make sure you are running the latest version of the app.
2Go To Notifications
To see if you have the new safety update, open the app after it has been updated, and tap the "notifications" option in center of the menu at the bottom of your screen. To see the new filter options, tap the settings gear icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
3Select "Advanced Filters"
うーん、Advanced Filtersのミュート条件これでいいんだろうか。著名人とかでもたまごアイコンのままの人とか電話番号確認してない人とか結構いると思うんだけども。。。https://t.co/vIhMDXgom4— Kenji Takashige (@filmloader) March 2, 2017
Once in settings, those with the update will see a new option located below "Muted words" reading "Advanced filters." Tapping this will bring you to all the latest safety auto-settings available.
4Mute The Notifications Of Your Choice
Under "Advanced filters" you have the option of muting notifications from a variety of different types of accounts. Toggle on the option to mute people "who have a default avatar" and you'll never see another Twitter egg again!