Twitter

Like Instagram, Twitter Working on Keyword-Blocking Tool

3 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Tired of being told where to go on Twitter? Shocked by some of the more creative ways people can express their disagreement with your particular stances, jokes or general existence? Bored with the block button?

If any of these apply, or if you want to get ahead of any potential Twitter harassment for anything you might post at some future point, Twitter is allegedly working on a new tool that should make it easier to stop people from pouring haterade on your digital life. Don't hold your breath, though, as Twitter's track record for "crazy projects it's working on" -- like increasing its Tweet limit to 10,000 characters, for example -- hasn't been the greatest. 

Sources speaking to Bloomberg indicate that Twitter's proposed anti-harassment tool, which it has allegedly been working on for the past year or so, would use keyword blocking to prevent users from seeing unpleasant words and phrases. While that will undoubtedly lead to some of the site's more ardent trolls finding more clever ways to hack off other Twitter users, it will at least allow people to escape more blatant abuse on the service.

Better yet, notes Bloomberg, the tool could also help users block hashtags they're tired of reading about. So if you have a friend who does nothing but liveblog 100 tweets in a row whenever his or her favorite television show is on, you might finally get a chance to save your timeline (and let your other Twitter friends get a word in).

It's unclear whether Twitter would be providing lists for those who would prefer to just have an easy way to block most uncouth words and phrases without having to type in a dictionary's worth of content themselves. We also don't know how Twitter plans to get around creative spelling. Will it be good enough to list out a certain word and assume that Twitter will be smart enough to stop those who replace the letter "e" with a "3," for example? (And this is all probably horrible news for French Connection U.K.'s social media team.)

If Twitter's move sounds familiar, it's because Instagram recently made headlines for unveiling a similar anti-harassment tool on its network. Only high-profile users get to keyword block right now, but it's thought that Instagram will eventually roll out the feature to everyone.

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