Twitter now lets all users keep trolls out of their notifications


Twitter is bringing two features to all users to help them better control their notifications, ones that seem aimed at curbing trolling and abuse on the platform.

The first is a setting that will only show you notifications from accounts you follow, meaning @'s from random people around the Twittersphere won't appear in your alerts.

That's helpful for preventing spam and harassing content from reaching your eyes, but it doesn't actually appear to prevent those tweets from being sent in the first place, which is worrisome.

Twitter's other big move is a quality filter to better evaluate what tweets show up in your notifications tab. The filter will have an eye out for "lower-quality content," Twitter says.

According to Twitter, the filter looks at signals like account origin and behavior, and based on these measures keeps tweets that don't pass muster out of your notifications and "other parts of your Twitter experience."

The filter will strain out content like duplicate tweets and stuff that appears to be automated, though alerts from people you follow or have recently interacted with will still show up.

Effective troll repellent?

The quality filter and notification setting aren't actually new; Twitter has offered them to verified accounts for some time. With today's rollout, Twitter is bringing notifications policy parity between accounts with and without blue checkmarks, which arguably it should have done a long time ago.

The features should cut out spam, tweets from accounts that exhibit serial trolling behavior, and harassment from people you don't follow from your notifications tab, which are significant steps towards improving the service for all users.

However, the settings don't appear to do much for targeted abuse by legitimate accounts, or people you know. The company makes no mention of trolls or harassment in its blog post on the new settings.

We asked Twitter for further insight into the new features, particularly how it envisions them helping combat trolling and abuse, but were told the company has nothing to share beyond today's blog post.

While the features may tackle spam and some trolling, the moves still fall short of the actions some users think Twitter should take against abuse, including banning bad actors.

To turn on the new settings, head to your Notifications tab in your nav bar. Select settings, then turn on the Quality and Only People You Know filter. If you want to turn them off, you can at any time.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.