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How to mute (most) spam accounts and trolls on twitter

Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium’s OneZero. Read more.

I love Twitter, but there’s no denying it has long had a spam and troll problem. Tweet about a popular product or service, and you’ll often get weird replies from random accounts. Poke your head out and take a political stance, and anonymous trolls will try to cut you down.

Thankfully, Twitter is starting to address some of these issues and provide tools for regular accounts to block spam and abuse. You can now mute specific accounts or certain keywords, but what about all those anonymous, one off trolls? Well that’s where notification filters come in.

One of the big problems with Twitter is how quick and easy it is to create accounts. There’s no point blocking someone if two minutes later they’re back with a new account. With notification filters you can set rules that automatically mute Tweets from certain kind of accounts. You can ignore Tweets from accounts:

  • You don’t follow.
  • That still use the default profile picture.
  • That haven’t confirmed their email.
  • That haven’t confirmed their phone number.
  • That don’t follow you.
  • That have only been created recently.

None of these filters will affect accounts you follow, so you can implement them without fear of cutting off Tweets from people that interest you. Here’s how to implement them.

On the Website

Click the profile picture in the top right and then select Settings and Privacy.

From the sidebar, select Notifications.

Under Mute Notifications from People, check any of the filters you want to apply and click Save Changes.

In the Smartphone App

Open Twitter on your smartphone and go to your Notifications pane. Tap the Gear icon to go to the Notifications Settings screen.

Tap Advanced Filters.

And turn on the filters you want.

By using Notification Filters, you can stop all Tweets from certain kinds of accounts reaching you. You might miss the occasional genuine Tweet, but for the most part, only spam accounts and trolls don’t use their own profile picture or confirm their email address.

Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium’s OneZero. Read more.

I love Twitter, but there’s no denying it has long had a spam and troll problem. Tweet about a popular product or service, and you’ll often get weird replies from random accounts. Poke your head out and take a political stance, and anonymous trolls will try to cut you down.

Thankfully, Twitter is starting to address some of these issues and provide tools for regular accounts to block spam and abuse. You can now mute specific accounts or certain keywords, but what about all those anonymous, one off trolls? Well that’s where notification filters come in.

One of the big problems with Twitter is how quick and easy it is to create accounts. There’s no point blocking someone if two minutes later they’re back with a new account. With notification filters you can set rules that automatically mute Tweets from certain kind of accounts. You can ignore Tweets from accounts:

  • You don’t follow.
  • That still use the default profile picture.
  • That haven’t confirmed their email.
  • That haven’t confirmed their phone number.
  • That don’t follow you.
  • That have only been created recently.

None of these filters will affect accounts you follow, so you can implement them without fear of cutting off Tweets from people that interest you. Here’s how to implement them.

On the Website

Click the profile picture in the top right and then select Settings and Privacy.

From the sidebar, select Notifications.

Under Mute Notifications from People, check any of the filters you want to apply and click Save Changes.

In the Smartphone App

Open Twitter on your smartphone and go to your Notifications pane. Tap the Gear icon to go to the Notifications Settings screen.

Tap Advanced Filters.

And turn on the filters you want.

By using Notification Filters, you can stop all Tweets from certain kinds of accounts reaching you. You might miss the occasional genuine Tweet, but for the most part, only spam accounts and trolls don’t use their own profile picture or confirm their email address.

If you’ve been online for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with the problem of trolls. On Twitter, trolls can operate in a number of ways. One of the most annoying is when you get notifications from people you don’t know. In some cases, these may be spammers.

There’s also the growing problem of cyberbullying. Twitter has recently updated its settings, making it easier to avoid notifications from people who don’t follow you.

How the Advanced Filter Settings Work

One reason that it’s been easy for trolls to target people on Twitter is that they’ve been able to send messages, even when they have no connection to the person they’re targeting. With the new filters, you can take steps to prevent this. You can now block notifications from several types of accounts, such as:

  • New accounts that you don’t follow.
  • No confirmed email address.
  • No confirmed phone number.
  • Accounts that don’t follow you.
  • Accounts that use a default profile photo.

Keep in mind that you can only filter these types of accounts if you don’t follow them. Once you follow an account, it’s easy for the owner to contact you. That’s why, if you want to get the most out of these new filter options, the first step is to be careful about whom you follow.

The ability to mute notifications from people who don’t follow you is an especially good filter. Many of Twitter’s worst trolls try to stay as anonymous and under-the-radar as possible. By not following the people they harass, they make it harder to identify them. You might also reasonably conclude that people who don’t verify their phone numbers or email addresses or who don’t post a custom photo aren’t committed to real engagement on Twitter and are best avoided.

A History of Trolling Problems on Twitter

Trolls operate a little differently on each platform, adapting to the environment. On Twitter, there’s been a historic problem of anonymous users harassing and bullying other users. There have been several high-profile cases of people being targeted. In some cases, this has caused people quite a bit of grief. Among the well-known victims of harassment are Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones, who was forced to quit Twitter after receiving thousands of hateful messages, many of them racist. Adele and actress Lena Dunham have also experienced harassment that led them to, at least temporarily, stop using Twitter.

Of course, most of the bullying and trolling that occurs on Twitter is much lower profile. Anyone can be targeted by classmates, co-workers, or by people they never met. In most cases, however, internet trolls and bullies do their best to remain hidden. If their true identities are known, they are open to legal problems and lawsuits. That’s why the best defense against trolls is to limit your interactions with people whose identities you can’t confirm. Twitter’s new filters make it easier to do this.

Tips to Stay Safe on Twitter

The new filters are an important step to protecting users from trolling and bullying. If you want to protect yourself, your kids, or your business from trolls, there are a number of things you can do.

  • Keep your location private. It’s easy nowadays to reveal your location with geo-tagged photos -or simply by announcing it. Think before you reveal that you’re on vacation, for example.
  • Check your privacy and safety settings. You can, for example, check the box to protect your tweets, which means only those you approve can see your tweets. You can also check “only allow people I follow to tag me in photos.” Make sure that you don’t check “let other find me by email address/phone number,” “add a location to my tweets,” and “receive direct messages from anyone.” Regarding the latter, some businesses may not want to prevent DMs from strangers. In this case, you have another option. You can filter DMs from people you don’t follow, sending them into a separate folder.
  • Be wary of whom you follow. As noted, once you follow an account, the person is free to contact you. Before following someone, it’s a good idea to click on his or her profile. Avoid new accounts with hardly any followers, accounts without photos, and accounts with spammy looking tweets.
  • Unfollow and block people who bother you. Don’t hesitate to unfollow and block anyone who is harassing you on Twitter. In fact, there’s no reason to keep following anyone who makes you uncomfortable for any reason. Blocking takes it a step further. Once you block an account, the owner can’t see your tweets and can’t follow you. As noted, however, this is sometimes only a temporary solution for persistent trolls who reappear under new user names.

Should Twitter Do More?

While these new filter settings are certainly helpful, it’s also worth wondering if Twitter should do more to protect its legitimate users from trolls. Out of all the social media networks, Twitter has one of the worst records when it comes to trolling and bullying. Part of this is due to the company’s commitment to free speech and privacy. This is, of course, a double-edged sword. When you give people the right to communicate anonymously, you also make it easier for people to abuse this privilege.

Some critics would like to see Twitter go much further in cracking down on trolling and bullying. One simple way to do this would be to require confirmation of identity to join. Instead of giving users the right to mute people without confirmed email addresses and phone numbers, why not simply make this information a requirement for joining? This gets back to Twitter’s historic unwillingness to violate users’ privacy. Only time will tell if these new measures will help to make users feel safer. Twitter is still trying to maintain a balance between protecting users from abuse and maintaining an open platform that affords people a great deal of privacy.

Twitter announced on July 10 through the company’s Twitter Safety account that new options to mute notifications have been added to the site.

The social messaging service supports several security functions to deal with other Twitter users. This includes blocking accounts, muting words or muting accounts.

While it is easy to mute accounts for instance, doing so won’t prevent blocked users from creating new accounts to interact with you again.

Blocking also always means that you are acting after the fact for the most part. Someone messaged you or showed up in your timeline, and you decided to block that user as a consequence of that action.

Twitter mute new accounts

The new controls that Twitter added to the service’s notifications system extend the functionality by giving you more control.

It is possible now for instance to block new accounts, or any account that does not follow you. It needs to be noted that you may block users from interacting with you that you would not have blocked otherwise.

Here is how you configure the new options:

  1. Load https://twitter.com/settings/notifications_timeline directly to open the Notifications settings on Twitter. You can open Notifications, and click on the Settings link there instead if you don’t want to open that link directly.

Twitter displays the available notification muting options on the page:

  1. Mute users you don’t follow.
  2. Mute users who have a default profile photo.
  3. Mute users who have not confirmed their email.
  4. Mute users who have not confirmed their phone number.
  5. Mute users who don’t follow you.
  6. Mute users with a new account.

You can check one or multiple options on the notifications page. The changes take affect right away, and the new options are also included in Twitter’s mobile applications for Android and iOS.

On Twitter’s mobile apps, you would go to your notifications timeline, tap on the gear icon, and select advanced filters there to open the configuration page.

Twitter does not define “new” when it comes to blocking new accounts. It is unclear for how long accounts are flagged as new on the site.

Closing Words

The blocking of new account notifications helps in special cases where new accounts are created to message specific Twitter users after previous accounts were blocked by Twitter users.The downside to this is that you will block legitimate users as well if you block all new accounts.

About Martin Brinkmann

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Comments

Does that mean you can open a Twitter account without confirming your email or phone number to Twitter ?

I think it is necessary to use either/or, but not both. So, if you signed up with email, you may not have a phone number on file and vice versa.

Aha. Thanks. Don’t know / use those social media beasts. Too nosy for me.

I’ve tried several times without a number and it locks my account after 10 min or so and in order to continue using it I need to verify a phone number. I don’t know what kind of bot-protection they are running or whatever but I can’t seem to get it to work. Haven’t got to follow or even send a tweet to anybody. I don’t want them to have my number so they can tie that to their targeted advertising and profiling.

It really depends on what you do after you’ve signed up and logged in. I registered an account, put very basic information in AND confirmed the email address. I decided I’d leave it alone for a few days and when I attempted to log into it days later, I’d found that the account had been locked and Twitter was forcing a telephone number to be confirmed on it.

I think Twitter has automated all of that with a hair trigger – i.e. just because some jerks don’t use a profile picture, any account that doesn’t jump to putting one on immediately must instantly be a jerk creating an account to troll some celeb of the moment/mouthpiece in social movement/insert topic du jour here. I didn’t immediately add one because I didn’t have one readily available – I shouldn’t be penalized and unable to use the account until I surrender MORE information over to the site because of it.

Twitter really needs to re-evaluate the way it handles its censorship tactics (and it is censorship, necessary or no) and have more human oversight into things like that. Hiring certain people who have been targeted by the usual jerks to define automated algorithms for sifting through the trash is not fair to the rest of the potential users of the site who aren’t signing up just to continue unabated harassment or pretend like they can get away with abhorrent crap simply because “it’s the internet, LOL”.

If Twitter had not invented that genius limit of 140 characters, maybe, just maybe people wouldn’t be so prone to trolling. Alow normal, human, civilised speech, and then you get the opportunity of attracting people who are not adverse to nuance and manners.

Force everybody to SHOUT and devise OUTRAGEOUS ways to stand out in a very small number of, ahem, words, and you get the worst out of everybody.

But then, I suspect that was the plan all along. Telling others they are c*nts will attract more clicks than elaborate discourse. Don’t tell me there’s some kind of technical limitation on the Internet making it difficult to allow people to write, you know, sentences. With grammar and civility included.

have no idea how to use twitter. If you follow someone, 90% of tweets are junk. And you won’t see the remaining 10% because 90% of junks from other people will flood your feed. Even though they try to improve the feed, it is still inferior to Facebook. Interacting with other people is also weird. Strangely, tech people like it.

Depending on who you ask, Twitter is either a vibrant social network that allows for interpersonal connections, or a cesspool of negativity and ignorance.

Fortunately, Twitter includes features to help users customize their Twitter experience and ignore specific users that can make the site a pain to use.

One of the easiest and most effective ways you can take control of your Twitter feed is by utilizing the mute feature, which allows you to hide the tweets of someone online without outright blocking them.

But what if you’re on the receiving end of this? and Can you tell if someone has muted you on Twitter?

Read on to find out.

Has Someone Muted You on Twitter?

Muting a user removes their Tweets from your timeline, but it does not tell the other person what has happened. So the answer to the main question of ‘Can you tell if someone muted you on Twitter?’ is no — at least not through the app itself.

This feature was added with privacy in mind — it wouldn’t be very helpful for avoiding drama if it tattled on you.

Although you used to be able to use TweetDeck—Twitter’s own account management app built for power users—to view which users had muted you, Twitter fixed this exploit in 2018, rendering the app virtually useless for anyone who wanted to see if their account had been muted.

That makes it difficult to truly tell if someone muted you on Twitter, but with a quick workaround, you can make a pretty good guess.

Social Engineering on Twitter

So, what are your other options for properly detecting whether someone has you muted? Here’s the deal: while this isn’t guaranteed to work, by using a bit of social deduction, we can quickly determine whether or not someone has you muted. Here’s how to do it.

Muting on Twitter doesn’t just turn off your tweets and retweets in their feed—it also disables notifications from your account on their device. Find a tweet on their profile that seems pretty basic in nature, then reply with something short and simple, but enough to garner a response in either a like or a reply.

Wait to see if you get a response, and if you do, there’s a good chance you aren’t muted. However, if your reply goes unnoticed, it’s likely the other use has muted your account.

How to Mute Someone on Twitter

Muting someone is very quick and easy to do. You just need to open a Tweet and select the ‘Mute’ option. You can unmute someone just as easily, too.

Muting someone is not the same as unfollowing or blocking. You can still Direct Message a muted account and they can DM you. You just don’t see their Tweets in your timeline. It’s roughly the same as unfollowing someone on Facebook without unfriending them.

To mute someone from a tweet:

  1. Open the Tweet and select the down arrow icon.
  2. Select Mute.

To mute from a user profile:

  1. Open the profile page of the person you want to mute.
  2. Select the three-dot menu icon on the page.
  3. Select Mute from the menu.

To unmute someone, you just need to visit their profile again and select the speaker icon to unmute them.

The Many Uses of Muting

Muting someone on Twitter isn’t just about quieting the over-sharers or giving yourself space from difficult relatives. Sure, that is its primary objective, but it is also useful if you manage social media accounts for work or as a profession. I used to do both of those and used the mute function often.

Muting Individuals

Muting individual Twitter users is handy both personally and professionally. Personally, you get to avoid their Tweets while remaining connected. This avoids some of that awkwardness that comes with blocking or unfriending someone who will probably want to know why or find some new and exciting way to harass you. Professionally, it means you can clean up a commercial Twitter feed, filter out the marketing, spam, bots, and trolls, and keep your timeline free and clear.

It also means you can maintain and grow your follower count without having to actually give much thought to their Tweets. While someone’s personal follower count is still seen as a metric for popularity, businesses and organizations have to keep it as high as possible to gain validity and recognition for the business or group they’re supporting. Muting keeps the numbers but cleans out the feed.

Muting Organizations

Whether you’re muting candidates and PACs during election season, or just trying to mute brands who spam you with too much information, muting organizations online is a great option to clear out some of the clutter in your feed. If you’re finding a lot of spam, muting the account that sent it really works. You might find yourself taking a few moments to go on a muting spree. Thankfully, the process is so simple, you can get a lot of spam muted in just a little time!

Do you know any way to tell if someone muted you on Twitter? Tell us below if you do!

ฉันชอบ Twitter แต่ไม่มีการปฏิเสธว่ามันนานมีปัญหาสแปมและหมุนรอบ ทวีตเกี่ยวกับผลิตภัณฑ์หรือบริการยอดนิยมและคุณมักจะได้รับคำตอบแปลก ๆ จากบัญชีแบบสุ่ม สะกิดหัวของคุณและออกท่าทางทางการเมืองและโทรลล์ที่ไม่ระบุชื่อจะพยายามลดคุณลง.

โชคดีที่ Twitter เริ่มที่จะแก้ไขปัญหาเหล่านี้และจัดเตรียมเครื่องมือสำหรับบัญชีปกติเพื่อป้องกันสแปมและการละเมิด ตอนนี้คุณสามารถปิดเสียงบัญชีที่เฉพาะเจาะจงหรือคำหลักบางอย่าง แต่สิ่งที่ไม่ระบุชื่อเกี่ยวกับสิ่งเหล่านั้นออกไปหนึ่งโทรลล์? นั่นคือสิ่งที่ตัวกรองการแจ้งเตือนเข้ามา.

หนึ่งในปัญหาใหญ่ของ Twitter คือวิธีสร้างบัญชีที่รวดเร็วและง่ายดาย ไม่มีประเด็นที่จะบล็อกใครบางคนถ้าสองนาทีต่อมาพวกเขากลับมาพร้อมกับบัญชีใหม่ ด้วยตัวกรองการแจ้งเตือนคุณสามารถตั้งกฎที่ปิดเสียงทวีตโดยอัตโนมัติจากบัญชีบางประเภท คุณสามารถละเว้นทวีตจากบัญชี:

  • คุณไม่ได้ติดตาม.
  • ที่ยังคงใช้รูปภาพโปรไฟล์เริ่มต้น.
  • ที่ยังไม่ได้ยืนยันอีเมลของพวกเขา.
  • ที่ยังไม่ได้ยืนยันหมายเลขโทรศัพท์.
  • ที่ไม่ได้ติดตามคุณ.
  • ที่เพิ่งถูกสร้างขึ้นเมื่อไม่นานมานี้.

บนเว็บไซต์

ในแอพสมาร์ทโฟน

เปิด Twitter บนสมาร์ทโฟนของคุณและไปที่บานหน้าต่างการแจ้งเตือน แตะไอคอนเกียร์เพื่อไปที่หน้าจอการตั้งค่าการแจ้งเตือน.

ด้วยการใช้ตัวกรองการแจ้งเตือนคุณสามารถหยุดทวีตทั้งหมดจากบัญชีบางประเภทที่ติดต่อคุณได้ คุณอาจพลาดทวีตของแท้เป็นครั้งคราว แต่ส่วนใหญ่มีเพียงบัญชีสแปมและโทรลล์เท่านั้นที่ไม่ใช้รูปโปรไฟล์ของตัวเองหรือยืนยันที่อยู่อีเมลของพวกเขา.

Twitter can permanently suspend the accounts of many people for as long as they want. Suspension means that your profile will be erased from the public eye; until it is activated again. You can read the policy on Twitter to get a better understanding. To learn how long do twitter accounts get suspended for you need to read more? If you have blocked or reported someone on Twitter, then it is totally up to him or her for how long they will suspend an account. You must tread very carefully on social media platforms. We all know how dangerous social media can be if taken lightly.

Every photo, video, audio, even a single word that is posted on social media will remain forever. It does not matter if you delete it or remove it, some person somewhere can recover it. Privacy has always been a matter of concern on social media and the internet. Therefore, to protect the interests of user’s platforms like Twitter has prepared a code of conduct.

Losing a Twitter account forever can be a nightmare. Creating a backup of your data is recommended. You must never go beyond the rules of any social media platform if not there will be consequences. If you want to learn for how long do twitter accounts get suspended for then we will make a guess here based on the facts available.

How long does Twitter suspension last?

We know that it depends on what leads to suspension to decide the time of suspension. However, based on the facts given by Twitter, it is speculated that an average suspension is for about two days or forty eight hours. Therefore, if you have been reported for a minor issue then, your account will remain suspended for about 48 hours. At the same time, it can be more than 48 hours if you have done something more important than spam behavior. Have you heard about the read-only mode on Twitter? It is also a type of suspension but in this, the account remains visible and activities are banned for about 12 hours to 7 days at most. The time limit will depend on the rules that you break. So, be very careful before troubling any other user. If you want to gain knowledge, how long do twitter accounts get suspended for then read more!

Before suspending any account, Twitter has to go through the complaint thoroughly. They will check your account, tweets, content, mobile number, and then they will verify all the details. Once verification is made, they will deal with the issue. If the complaint is false and no issue is found then no suspension will be done. If something serious comes to the notice, then you may never get your account back.

How to unsuspend my Twitter account?

You must know, how long do twitter accounts get suspended for? to get them eased later on. You can get your account unsuspended in two ways. The ways are:

  • Verification– You can start a verification process for your account to get it unsuspended. It is the easiest and quickest mode to get your account unsuspended. But keep in mind that only minor issues can be dealt with by verification. To confirm your profile, you need to login and if you see any issues that need verification then verify your account with your mobile number or email id. If you confirm these two things then most likely, your account will get recovered. But always remember that only minor issues will be solved, through verification.
  • Filing Appeal– It is a second way to get your account unsuspended. If verification would not work, filing an appeal for your account will do the trick, and foremost about this is the only thing which you can do is to get the account back. If you are 100% sure that suspension was a mistake and you have not violated the terms of their conduct then; you can start an appeal to solve why your account got suspended. You can report on the link provided on Twitter. If twitter feels that your reason is justified then they will revert to you through email that they will look into the matter and later on respond that your account is unsuspended.

Create a new account

Once you have recovered the account, wait for a period of maybe 2 hours to get everything back to normal. Now, let us look at the negative side of filing an appeal. If Twitter is not satisfied with your reason then, they will not give your account back. However, if the suspension was temporary then, it may become permanent now. Apart from this, your account will be removed and deleted from Twitter, and you will not be allowed to create a new account. Therefore, you have to be sure that there was a mistake from twitter’s side before starting an appeal.

Suspension is a big issue. Twitter is very firm when it comes to removing users from its platform. Harmony is foremost in the real world, and virtual world apart from there will be fights and chaos. Be careful what you tweet here and there. Suspension will damage the overall virtual identity of a person.

Max and his team write tutorials & guides about everything that has to do with social media. TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and co: In the blog of Adfluencer, our influencer marketing agency, you can find super many helpful articles 🙂

Meredith Dietz

Is any social media platform truly troll-free? My theory is that LinkedIn will be our last bastion of exclusively earnest posting. In the meantime, TikTok continues to update ways for users to limit the hate and harassment thrown their way.

According to their Q2 Community Guidelines Enforcement Report earlier this week, TikTok removed 81,518,334 hate and harassment videos in just the last three months. Sure, that’s a devastating number in terms of the sheer magnitude of hate (assuming the bulk of those community violations are actual hate, and not just videos featuring the fearsome female nipple). At the same time, it’s a hopeful number in terms of TikTok’s efforts to handle hate on their end, rather than putting that burden on individual users. For instance, last July TikTok added a feature that prompts users to consider whether their comment is inappropriate or unkind before they post it; nevertheless, trolls persist.

Whether you’re a TikTok creator or want to keep your TikTok-ing kids safe, here are the tools to keep the experience as troll-free as possible.

Going LIVE? Use the updated mute settings

Following their report, TikTok is rolling out updated mute settings for comments and questions during livestreams, including the removal of muted individuals’ comment histories that viewers can see. TikTokers have always had the option to block accounts or remove the ability to comment on their posts (more on that below), but that route introduces a major roadblock to how to get views from audiences who aren’t nasty little trolls.

For the uninitiated: “Going LIVE” allows TikTokers to connect with their followers in real-time using comments; on the flip side, these livestreams give trolls a real-time channel to harass TikTokers. In a blog announcement titled “Our continued fight against hate and harassment,” Eric Han, head of U.S. Safety at TikTok, wrote that “livestreaming on TikTok is an exciting way for creators and viewers to connect, and we’re building safety into the experience by design…We hope these new controls further empower hosts and audiences alike to have safe and entertaining livestreams.”

Quick anecdotal aside: As a creator, livestreams significantly boost views on your most recent video. This (unofficial) incentive for TikTokers makes sense from a business perspective: Livestreams are a hub for viewers to donate to hosts through in-app purchases.

But even if you aren’t going LIVE, you can still take steps to block accounts and filter comments on all your videos.

Comment filters

You have a few options to filter comments. First, tap the Profile tab at the bottom of your home page and select the settings menu — those three horizontal dashes — at the top of the screen.

Under the Account page that pops up, choose Privacy and scroll down to Comments (under the Safety subheading). From the comment filters section, you’ll see options for “Filter all comments,” “Filter spam and offensive comments,” and “Filter keywords.”

  • Filter all comments: Prevent any comments from appearing on your posts without your approval. If you want to approve which comments show up under your videos, click on the “review filter comments” at the bottom of the screen.
  • Filter spam and offensive comments: The mystical algorithm takes a stab at identifying potentially harmful comments and prevents them from showing up on your posts (unless you approve them).
  • Filter keywords: Choose certain keywords and block any comments that include them from appearing in your posts without your approval. Personally, I’m about to filter “Shaun White” so people will stop pointing out just how much I look like him.

Block accounts

Sometimes you just need to block a troll at the source. Go to their account and tap the settings button in the top right corner of their profile page. Next, tap Block and select Confirm. This prevents the blocked account from seeing your profile or any of your content in their feed. Also under the Safety tab, you can choose who can or cannot send you direct messages.

Protect your videos

To keep your account safe without going fully private, you can play around with all the video settings in the Privacy menu. Consider whether you want people to duet, stitch, and download your videos.

Hate and bullying are highly contextual issues, so if you’re interested in how TikTok aims to make their platform a safer environment, I recommend reading their most recent report here.

Block some of Twitter’s annoying features with just a few steps.

Posted on Mar 25, 2019 Updated on May 20, 2021, 4:21 pm CDT

Ever wish you could declutter your Twitter feed? Tired of being told who to follow? You can easily block many of Twitter’s features, including suggested tweets, by simply using the mute option.

As recently noted by author and podcast host Jono Pech on Twitter, adding just a few select text strings to your list of muted words can personalize your timeline, including removing suggestions for who to follow.

“If you prefer not to see the algorithm tweets, replies and likes from strangers on your main Twitter feed, muting these terms will disable those features and more,” Pech says.

If you prefer not to see the algorithm tweets, replies and likes from strangers on your main Twitter feed, muting these terms will disable those features and more. pic.twitter.com/60oBNWAqoO

Some of these options were first made popular last year after Twitter changed its timeline to no longer feature tweets in chronological order. And although Twitter now lets users choose how to structure their timeline, many of the muting options are still useful.

As the text string suggests, adding “suggest_who_to_follow” to your mute list will stop Twitter from giving you suggestions on who to follow. Although not mentioned by Pech, also adding “suggest_grouped_tweet_hashtag” will stop random tweets associated with popular hashtags from being placed in your timeline.

A full list of text strings for your mute list can be found on GitHub, enabling you to also block Twitter highlights and moments.

How to mute Twitter’s suggested tweets

To add any of these to your mute list, first click on your profile image before selecting Settings and Privacy. If you’re using a computer, simply click Muted words and then Add. If using the mobile app, choose Privacy and Safety in the Settings and Privacy menu and click Muted. From there, you should be able to select Muted words.

You don’t have to be following too many accounts on Twitter for it to become overwhelming; there is an incredible amount of data created every minute. To make things more manageable, lists make it possible to organize content into different categories so it can be quickly filtered. Today Twitter announces an extension of the lists concept that can be used to tackle spam and trolling.

It is now possible to not only create lists of accounts you would like to block (so you are invisible to them), but also share these block list with others. It’s a technique that has already been implemented by some third party Twitter clients, but it is now officially supported. Privacy and abuse have long been issues for Twitter, and this is just the latest move to try to tackle the problem.

Working in a similar way to malware and ad-blocking blacklists, shareable block lists finally present Twitter users with a quick and easy way to block interactions from large numbers of troublesome accounts in one fell swoop. To begin with, users are being invited to start creating and sharing their own lists, but Twitter has not indicated whether it will also release block lists of its own that could be used to filter content.

Introducing the new feature in a blog post, Xiaoyun Zhang, engineer for user safety at Twitter, said:

Today we’re making it possible to share block lists on twitter.com. This new, advanced feature makes blocking multiple accounts easy, fast and community driven. Mute and block are tools to help you control your Twitter experience. While many users find them useful, we also recognize that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools. That’s where this new feature comes in. You can now export and share your block lists with people in your community facing similar issues or import another user’s list into your own account and block multiple accounts all at once, instead of blocking them individually.

If you already have a list of blocked accounts, this can be easily exported ready for sharing. The Twitter help center explains how to go about sharing, and the import process is quick and simple.

With a checkered history surrounding trolling and abuse, this could just be the solution Twitter has been looking for that will help to clean up its reputation. But the company has not made it clear if block lists will be policed — there is clearly potential for the feature to be abused so that legitimate accounts are blocked alongside the less desirable ones. It’s early days, and time will be the true test here.

Twitter on Tuesday said it will begin asking for email addresses or phone numbers to confirm new accounts as part of a battle against manipulation, particularly by automated bots.

Adding a way to check that a real person is behind new accounts was described by Twitter as being among measures to fight abuse, trolls, and hateful content.

“This is an important change to defend against people who try to take advantage of our openness,” Twitter executives Del Harvey and Yoel Roth said in a blog post.

The requirement will be rolled out later this year, and Twitter promised to make sure the change does not harm aspiring users in “high-risk” places.

Twitter recently began taking more steps to clean up spam and automated activity, and “close the loopholes they’d exploited,” according to Harvey and Roth.

“We’re also now automating some processes where we see suspicious account activity, like exceptionally high-volume tweeting with the same hashtag, or using the same @handle without a reply from the account you’re mentioning,” they said.

Twitter systems identified and challenged more than 9.9 million “potentially spammy or automated accounts” weekly in May, according to Harvey and Roth.

Twitter last month said that it was stepping up its long-running battle against online trolls, trying to find offenders by looking at “behavioral signals.”

The new approach looks at behavioral patterns of users in addition to the content of the tweets, allowing Twitter to find and mute online bullies and trolls.

Even if the offending tweets are not a violation of Twitter policy, they may be hidden from users if they are deemed to “distort” a conversation, Twitter said.

Twitter already uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in this effort but the latest initiative aims to do more by focusing on the actions of certain users in addition to the content.

Twitter is among online platforms under pressure to do more to safeguard against being used to spread misinformation or promote division, as proved the case during the US presidential election in 2016, in which US intelligence says Russia meddled to help Donald Trump win.

Because you don’t need to be angry or sad every time you go online.

By Whitson Gordon | Published Jul 7, 2021 6:00 PM

This story has been updated. It was originally published on March 1, 2019.

Some corners of the internet act as bastions of healthy discussion, but out there on the wild web, discourse appears worse than ever before. If you’re tired of feeling your blood boil every time you get to the bottom of an article or open up your social media app of choice, here’s how to clean up your internet conversations.

Block comments on news sites and blogs

More and more sites are doing away with comments altogether, but there are plenty that have stuck by their discussion section—even if it’s littered with spam and hateful garbage. You can’t stop commenters from spewing their garbage, but you can banish them from your view. Shut Up is a simple, open-source tool that will automatically block most comment sections across the web. It’s available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple’s Safari, and iOS. Just install it on your platform of choice, and comment sections will disappear as if they were never there.

If there’s a site that you actually like to read comments on—yes, there are still a few decent ones out there—you can click the Shut Up button in your toolbar or press Ctrl+Shift+X to whitelist that site. It will remember your preferences, so your favorite comment sections will reappear. Sadly, there’s no way to mute certain comments based on keywords.

Note that due to the way Chrome’s annoyingly broad permission system works, this extension will request access to read and edit data on all sites you visit, but you can read the developer’s privacy policy here. And if you’re still uneasy, you can always inspect and inject the Shut Up CSS code yourself, if you have a stylesheet extension you like.

Mute words on Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks

Blog comments are just a small fraction of toxic internet conversation—most of it happens on social networks. Shut Up will block comment sections on some networks, like Facebook and Reddit, but that defeats the purpose of having those networks at all. Thankfully some services, like Twitter and Instagram, have caught on and built “mute” functions that let you hide comments that contain certain keywords, for more control over what you see.

On Twitter, you can mute tweets with certain words or phrases by heading to the Twitter website, and clicking on More from the sidebar on the left. Next, go to Settings and privacy > Privacy and safety > Mute and block > Muted words. Finally, click the plus icon in the top right to add words to your list. In the mobile app, the steps are similar: tap the three lines in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, then Settings and privacy and Privacy and safety. Scroll down to the Safety heading and tap Muted, followed by Muted words. Hit Add in the bottom right to build your list.

When you add the words you want to avoid, you can also select how long you want to mute it—which is useful if you’re just trying to avoid spoilers for a few days.

Instagram’s Mute feature is similar, though it only applies to comments on your posts (not other people’s). Head to Settings > Privacy > Comments and enable the Manual Filter. You can then enter words separated by commas to hide them from your comments. You can also flick a switch to hide comments Instagram thinks may be offensive if you want to do a little less work.

Other social networks, like Reddit, don’t have a mute feature built-in. However, browser extensions like the ever-popular Reddit Enhancement Suite will allow you to mute comments with certain words just the same. Install the extension and open the RES Settings Console. Navigate to Subreddits > filteReddit, and create filters to your heart’s content. You can hide posts with specific terms in the title, or block posts that come from chosen websites. You can also build filters for comments, provided you know how regular expressions work—there’s a small tutorial on this page.

Finally, Facebook is in a weird spot when it comes to muting or filtering comments. Back in June of 2018, Facebook began testing a feature called Keyword Snooze that would allow you to hide any comment containing words you specified. It wasn’t available to everyone and that test ended in January 2021. Now, your best bet is to hit the three dots in the top right corner of any post on your News Feed and choose to “See fewer posts like this,” or snooze and unfollow certain people that clog up your timeline.

In the absence of a built-in mute button, a popular browser extension called Social Fixer can create powerful keyword filters from the Filters section of its settings. Like Reddit’s Enhancement Suite, these can get a bit complex and require a certain syntax, but you can read more about your options here. And again, if you’re wary about installing extensions from developers you don’t know, you can browse the code yourself and install it separately.

Remember, any time you install a browser extension to gain this feature, it’ll only mute posts on that specific computer—so Social Fixer and Reddit Enhancement Suite won’t help you in mobile apps, where the extensions can’t be installed. We can only hope that companies like Facebook continue to build these features into their apps, so we don’t have to rely on third parties and workarounds to do it for us. But for now, it’s better than nothing.

Twitter’s latest iPhone app allows users to report individual tweets. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Twitter’s latest iPhone app allows users to report individual tweets. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

As Twitter has become more central to the lives of its 500 million-plus users worldwide, so its problems with disruptive users have grown. There are now more than 500m tweets sent every day. Once its prime problem was spammers trying to push porn or gadgets, its newest problem is trolls – people who use their accounts to write abusive messages targeting individuals.

On Twitter, any tweet which contains someone’s “handle” – beginning with @ – will show up in their feed of mentions; neither needs to be “following” the other. Twitter has mechanisms to block any tweets from a specified user, to report spam, and – for users of its newest iPhone app – to report individual tweets. So how effective are those against trolls?

Solution: use the existing “block” button so you don’t see abusive tweets
Pro: quick; already available
Con: The journalist Caitlin Moran says: “on a big troll day, it can be 50 violent/rape messages an hour. Exhausting and upsetting.” They often come from different accounts, making blocking ineffectual. Caroline Criado-Perez, the latest target of abusive tweets, said: “When you are drowning in rape threats, when they are coming in every second, it’s just not practical to report in this way.”

Solution: report abusive tweets to Twitter (available in the latest version of the iPhone app, and coming to the Android and mobile website versions)
Pro: brings tweet to attention of Twitter
Con: requires the victim to take lots of action if many accounts and tweets are involved

Solution: report abusive tweets as spam
Pro: may get Twitter to act more quickly
Con: as with blocking and reporting, hard to make work broadly. And offenders could – and do – just create a new account.

Solution: retweet offensive tweets to shame senders
Pro: makes extent and source of abuse visible; women such as Louise Mensch and Mary Beard have used this method
Con: those involved may not feel “shamed”, and tend to have very few, if any, followers, so retweeting simply gives them unwarranted publicity.

Solution: report abusive tweets to police
Pro: can lead to arrests and charges. A man has been arrested over online threats made to Criado-Perez
Con: police have to balance conflicting demands on their time: is a rape threat on Twitter more urgent than a real-life stalker or online fraud?

Solution: force accounts reported as abusive into “protected tweet” mode, so only their own followers can see them
Pro: makes abuse invisible to rest of Twitter, and to target of the abuse, unless they were following them
Con: Twitter would have to “force-lock” the account, which could mean delays in application.

Solution: “watch my account” button to alert Twitter when abusive tweets are aimed at a user, so that offensive accounts can be identified and stopped
Pro: quicker than trying to report abusive accounts individually – Twitter could take over the task
Con: Twitter might worry about becoming overloaded if people react too quickly to what they see abuse.

Solution: flag repeat offenders with a yellow flag, which appears on their account details
Pro: warns other users about known aggressive users and may discourage them from repeating bad behaviour, and more subtle than closing their account (they’d just open another)
Con: not effective enough and flags may become kudos in themselves, like Asbos.

Solution: impair the online experience of offenders by making the site load slowly
Pro: a slow site would discourages them from posting
Cons: might be seen as unfair; and they could just create a new account.

Solution: make it impossible to contact people on Twitter until you have a certain number of followers
Pro: stops people signing up in order to be abusive
Con: prevents people getting a message out – say, from an oppressed country – to influential users in the wider world. Also bots will harvest followers for you (or automatically get you to follow people who then often follow you back)

Solution: oblige people to use real names, or sign up with a credit card
Pro: would make people easier to find for arrests
Con: not everyone has a credit card (and criminals could steal details to set up accounts); some people, such as whistleblowers, need anonymity

Twitter on Tuesday said it will begin asking for email addresses or phone numbers to confirm new accounts as part of a battle against manipulation, particularly by automated bots.

Twitter on Tuesday said it will begin asking for email addresses or phone numbers to confirm new accounts as part of a battle against manipulation, particularly by automated bots.

Adding a way to check that a real person is behind new accounts was described by Twitter as being among measures to fight abuse, trolls, and hateful content.

“This is an important change to defend against people who try to take advantage of our openness,” Twitter executives Del Harvey and Yoel Roth said in a blog post.

The requirement will be rolled out later this year, and Twitter promised to make sure the change does not harm aspiring users in “high-risk” places.

Twitter recently began taking more steps to clean up spam and automated activity, and “close the loopholes they’d exploited,” according to Harvey and Roth.

“We’re also now automating some processes where we see suspicious account activity, like exceptionally high-volume tweeting with the same hashtag, or using the same @handle without a reply from the account you’re mentioning,” they said.

Twitter systems identified and challenged more than 9.9 million “potentially spammy or automated accounts” weekly in May, according to Harvey and Roth.

Twitter last month said that it was stepping up its long-running battle against online trolls, trying to find offenders by looking at “behavioral signals.”

The new approach looks at behavioral patterns of users in addition to the content of the tweets, allowing Twitter to find and mute online bullies and trolls.

Even if the offending tweets are not a violation of Twitter policy, they may be hidden from users if they are deemed to “distort” a conversation, Twitter said.

Twitter already uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in this effort but the latest initiative aims to do more by focusing on the actions of certain users in addition to the content.

Twitter is among online platforms under pressure to do more to safeguard against being used to spread misinformation or promote division, as proved the case during the US presidential election in 2016, in which US intelligence says Russia meddled to help Donald Trump win.

The company is also working on a new ‘safety mode’

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Twitter safety mode mockup. Image: Twitter

Twitter plans to introduce a way for you to automatically block and mute abusive accounts, the company announced at its Analyst Day presentation on Thursday.

It appears the feature will be a toggle you can turn on in a new “safety mode,” according to a slide in the Analyst Day slide deck. Here’s Twitter’s description of how the toggle will work if you flip it on: “Automatically block accounts that appear to break the Twitter Rules, and mute accounts that might be using insults, name-calling, strong language, or hateful remarks.”

With the new safety mode, Twitter will automatically detect accounts that “might be acting abusive or spammy” and limit how those accounts can engage with your content for seven days, according to the slide.

We’ve asked Twitter for more information about the new features and will update this article with anything we hear.

Twitter has historically struggled with abuse on its platform and has released a number of features over the years to help reduce offensive content, such as letting people hide replies and letting users control who can reply to an individual tweet. The company also has some automated tools in place to remove abusive tweets, and it said in 2019 that it removes more than 50 percent of abusive tweets before users report them.