Took ‘Em Long Enough: Twitter Adds Functionality for Muting Specific Words and Phrases

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I’ll spare you all my usual lecture about Twitter’s harassment problem and how it’s causing them to lose money (not that they were even making money in the first place; they have never turned a profit). You’ve all heard it before. Instead, I’m here to tell you that they’re finally implementing a much-requested feature: the ability to mute certain words and phrases.

You could already mute users, which is a blessing. But now, Twitter has announced that they’ll be going “to where people need it the most: in notifications. 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.”

The coming days, huh? Because I needed it yesterday, Twitter. And several years before that. But thanks, though.

Twitter’s announcement also reiterates their policy against “hateful conduct,” as well as the fact that they really do plan to enforce it. Like, for real: “we’ve retrained all of our support teams on our policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct, and implemented an ongoing refresher program.”

How often have I said “better late than never” about Twitter’s ongoing quest towards mitigating online harassment? I’m not going to say it this time. I won’t even say “I hope this works.” I’ll just say they better hope this works, since their livelihood depends upon it.

(via NPR, image via Norebbo Stock Illustration & Design)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (