Twitter has a troll problem. That the social-media service has become a tool for those wishing to harass others is well documented, as are the company's seemingly ineffective attempts to combat the toxicity found on the platform. Well, Twitter's Product Manager Emil Leong wants you to know that he's aware of it, and today announced a new way for users to hopefully make their experience a less hostile one.
Say hello to "Quality Filter." When enabled, the feature essentially allows users to ignore accounts that meet certain criteria or exhibit certain behavior. For example, if a prominent Twitter user encourages his followers to tweet racist and sexist remarks at you, as happened recently to Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, you will theoretically be able to auto-block all that content.
"When turned on, the filter can improve the quality of tweets you see by using a variety of signals, such as account origin and behavior," explains Leong. "Turning it on filters lower-quality content, like duplicate tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience."
This is not the first time we've heard of this feature. In March of 2015, Tech Crunch reported on a tool of the same name, however it was in beta and only made available to a small segment of users.
Well, that's an interesting & welcome addition, Twitter! (Was prompted about this on opening the app.) pic.twitter.com/Ka2VDvqwNf— Anil Dash (@anildash) March 23, 2015
Now, according to Leong, the feature is available to everyone with an account. This announcement also comes with news of a simple change that may radically improve the Twitter experience of those suffering from online harassment. "Starting today, everyone will have the ability to limit notifications to only people they follow on mobile and on twitter.com," he writes.
This means that people who still want to engage with those they follow will be able to receive notifications from said users without having to open themselves up to being pinged every time someone decides to tweet a slur at them. Before, you could either turn notifications on or off — it was an all or nothing situation.
Time will tell how big of an impact these new features actually have, but hey, it's a step. Albeit one that is frustratingly late, but still.