Most users understand Twitter comes with a caveat – voice your opinions on a contentious subject, or any subject, and risk the wrath of the egg.
By egg of course, we’re referring to Twitter’s default avatar, which is so often the harbinger of abuse or spam from people using more than one profile or wanting to hide their identity online. It’s a problem which has had calls to be addressed for some time.
— Jesse Brown (@JesseBrown) January 8, 2017
Now though, Twitter’s new safety features are taking major steps to allow users to mute abusive content and spam.
New filtering options will allow users to hide notifications from accounts without a profile photo, verified email address or phone number.
Twitter has also revealed it will use its algorithms to more actively identify and remove accounts that spread abusive content. Meanwhile users will be able to mute directly from their home timeline and set a time-limit on how long they would like keywords and phrases or accounts muted for.
“We aim to only act on accounts when we’re confident, based on our algorithms, that their behaviour is abusive,” said Twitter’s engineering chief Ed Ho. “Since these tools are new we will sometimes make mistakes, but know that we are actively working to improve and iterate on them every day.”
Twitter has faced pressure to tackle abusive content for some time and this update is unlikely to be the end of such complaints. Perhaps for now though, it will give users more control – and the Twitter egg will have a bit less traction on our feeds.