Twitter's new features are making it harder for trolls to be heard

Twitter has announced that it will be rolling out three more features in the coming weeks as part of its recent commitment to reducing instances of harassment on the platform.

The most recently announced changes are intended to make abusive tweets less visible in the first place. How will Twitter manage this? 

Well, first of all it will now prevent users who have been banned from the platform from coming back under a new username. 

How exactly it’s going to manage this hasn’t been made clear, perhaps to make it harder for trolls to find a workaround. Though it’s highly likely some will, this permadeath approach should at least act as a deterrent for those less dedicated to trolling behavior. 

Harder to hear

Twitter will also roll out a safe search filter that will hide potentially sensitive tweets and tweets from blocked or muted users from your search. This safe search will be turned on by default, but it’ll be possible to turn it off at any time. 

The final change (at least for now) will see what Twitter deems to be “abusive and low-quality replies” collapsed under a tab marked “less relevant replies.” That means any abusive tweets or replies from suspicious accounts will be hidden, though you’ll still be able to access them if you expand the tab where they’re hidden.

Twitter hasn’t revealed an exact time when we can expect to see each of these features go live, simply stating that they’ll be rolled out alongside other changes “in the days and weeks ahead.” 

Though these new features won’t completely silence trolls, they will at the very least stifle them slightly. If it’s clear that any kind of abusive or harassing content will be hidden in search results and replies it may at the very least demotivate those who post it in an effort to stir up a response. 

What’s clear, though, is that Twitter wasn’t kidding when it said it was making tackling abuse a priority going forward. It’s nice to see it keeping to its word with its new features. We can only hope they prove to be effective.