Twitter’s New Tool Finally Helps With Blocking Notification Spam & Harrassment

It’s bad enough that our email inboxes are constantly muddled by spam. It’s even worse that our Twitter notifications look like our inboxes. Between bot accounts and annoying mentions from people you don’t know, the little notification icon is more obnoxious than exciting. Twitter finally decided to fix the spam problem. They’re introducing a quality filter as part of a plan to make the website more user-accessible and user-friendly.

The quality filter was announced earlier this week by Twitter, along with the ability to limit notifications to only the people you follow. Essentially, it works by hiding content produced by potential bots, based on factors such as the post’s origin and the user’s behaviors. These changes will be incorporated universally over the next few days and should improve with time. The quality filter is optional in settings, but seeing that it “filters lower-quality content, like duplicate Tweets or content that appears to be automated, from your notifications and other parts of your Twitter experience,” according to Twitter’s blog, why wouldn’t you turn it on? Don’t worry – the accounts you already follow and users you’ve previously interacted with won’t be affected, but all the nonsense spam should begin to disappear.

What’s worse than the spam bots, which are occasionally amusing at best, is the abuse problem on Twitter. Far too many users, celebrity or not, have been easy targets of online abuse on Twitter. Additionally the site has often fallen short on its ability to dole out punishment towards the perpetuators. Even former CEO Dick Costolo acknowledged in February 2015, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.” Recently, actress Leslie Jones (SNL, Ghostbusters) experienced horrendous racist abuse in July, highlighting Twitter’s inability to reprimand its users. But it seems that this quality filter should be able to mediate the problem.

By allowing users to limit their notifications to just people they follow, the new settings Twitter is introducing should hide notifications from hateful strangers as well as bots. The Verge reports that the features have been available to verified users for some time now, but Twitter has recently begun offering them to non-verified accounts. The quality filter will hopefully be able to keep negative, hateful Tweets out of people’s timelines. Celebrity or not, Twitter users deserve a safer, spam-free site.

[H/T: Bustle]

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