Twitter offers a number of solutions to have a good time on the platform, away from trolls and other cyberbullying. In particular via the very recent Security Mode.
Highlighting situations of harassment and other trolls on Twitter has unfortunately become all too common now. It is an evil too widespread on social platforms, abuse and cyberbullying of all kinds abound.
Fortunately, many services are aware of the problem and have implemented prevention systems. This is the case of Twitter, which recently deployed a feature called Security Mode.
Once activated, the Safe Mode algorithm will identify accounts that send nasty tweets, hate speech and the like and automatically add them to the user’s blocked accounts list. But only if you don’t already follow these accounts or have never interacted with them.
Security Mode is still in the testing phase, accessible only to a limited group of users. You can check if you have access to it, and activate it if necessary, by going to the settings of your Twitter profile:
- Log into your account then go to Settings and Privacy> Privacy and Security.
- Tap the Safe Mode button (if you see it) and turn the option on.
- You can also tap “Automatically blocked accounts” on this screen to view and manage the list of users that the algorithm has blocked for you.
Twitter explains that it has targeted users belonging to “marginalized communities and women journalists” for the first tests of its Safety Mode. Little by little, this test group will expand to eventually have a functionality available to all.
This is a very interesting initiative on Twitter’s part. There is a growing body of research showing that women and minorities suffer the worst abuse on Twitter, especially for those in public roles, such as journalists, politicians, content creators and celebrities. It’s a good thing to see that Twitter is putting their safety and well-being on the platform first.
Other ways to block Twitter trolls
Safe Mode is a step in the right direction, but we don’t know if it will actually make Twitter more secure until it’s available to everyone. And we can’t help but it won’t be very effective as harassment is rampant on Twitter.
It is difficult to trust the company for this management after so many years of remaining inactive, or almost, on the subject.
Fortunately, for those who do not have access to Safe Mode, or if you do not find it effective enough, there are other ways to block trolls on Twitter:
- The most accessible is to mute or block an account manually. This can be done directly via a tweet from the account to be blocked, a DM or even from the profile. Silenced accounts will no longer appear in your feed while the blocking also prevents the account in question from seeing your own tweets, following you or sending you private messages.
- You can change who is allowed to reply to your tweets.
- You can also ban certain words from your feed and notifications in Settings and Privacy> Privacy and Security> Hide and block> Hidden words.
- Another option is to use predefined block lists, which you can import in Settings and Privacy> Privacy and Security> Hide & Block> Blocked Accounts.
- You can use third-party services like Megablock to automatically block anyone from following an account or liking a tweet you specify.
- If all of these methods are ineffective, switching your Twitter account to “Protected” mode will make your tweets and profile private. New users who would like to subscribe will need to get your permission. This option is available in Settings and Privacy> Your Account> Account Information> Protected Tweets.
These additional settings and services can help make Twitter a safer place, but it’s not perfect.
You can’t manually block every troll or block every problematic word. Blocklists can change if admins add or remove an account from the list and there’s always the risk of blocking someone you didn’t want to block if you’re using an app like Megablock. And not everyone’s profile is private, especially if you use Twitter on a professional level.
In any case, let’s hope that the new features like this Safe Mode and the tools that are on the horizon like the self-archiving of tweets and the deletion of subscribers will make things even easier.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.