People have been complaining for years that Twitter needs to do more to protect people from online abuse and harassment, and give them a clearer system to report threats and hate speech. Now you can at least mute the racist frog in your life, if that’s any solace.
Twitter announced its new features on Tuesday, which include not only muting within notifications, but plans to add a “hateful conduct”reporting function soon. They write:
We’re enabling you to mute keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don’t want to see notifications about, rolling out to everyone in the coming days. This is a feature we’ve heard many of you ask for, and we’re going to keep listening to make it better and more comprehensive over time.
Our hateful conduct policy prohibits specific conduct that targets people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. Today we’re giving you a more direct way to report this type of conduct for yourself, or for others, whenever you see it happening. This will improve our ability to process these reports, which helps reduce the burden on the person experiencing the abuse, and helps to strengthen a culture of collective support on Twitter.
They also say they’ve retrained their support team on policies around abuse including “cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct.” BuzzFeed points out that their reporting menu now includes the option to flag a post because “it directs hate against a race, religion, gender or orientation.” Whether or not reporting abuse will lead to any consequence for perpetrators is unclear, as there’s been little success on that front so far.