Celebs deal with a lot of haters, but social media makes it way too easy for vicious trolls to harass everyday people too. Finally, Twitter is doing something about it with the launch of the mute button. Here’s how it works: Next time you come across a troll, hit the little carrot on the right…
If You’ve Ever Dealt With Harassment on Twitter, You Need to Know About the Mute Button launched by Twitter.
Celebs deal with a lot of haters, but social media makes it way too easy for vicious trolls to harass everyday people too.
The term troll is associated with Internet discourse, but also has been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, the mass media have used troll to mean “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.” In addition, depictions of trolling have been included in popular fictional works, such as the HBO television program The Newsroom, in which a main character encounters harassing persons online and tries to infiltrate their circles by posting negative sexual comments.
Finally, Twitter is doing something about it with the launch of the mute button.
Here’s how it works: Next time you come across a troll, hit the little carrot on the right side of the tweet (it’s the ellipses next to the like button on desktop), and you’ll have the option to mute that account. If you mute a user but choose to continue following them, they’ll still pop up in your notifications when they mention you in a tweet. If you don’t follow them, they’ll disappear from your feed entirely. You can also filter out triggering hashtags and keywords. You’ll find “muted words” as a new option when you go into settings and toggle to the notifications tab. Add the words or phrases you don’t want to see, hit save, and boom, they’re gone from your feed.
For people who deal with abusive comments online (from racism to fat shaming to sexual harassment), this feature could make Twitter a much safer space. But the mute button doesn’t actually stop the trolls, it hides them. The pervasiveness of hate speech is arguably a bigger issue we need to tackle as a society.
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