Anyone who has been on Twitter for more than an hour in the last year can quickly tell that, while it's a great source for finding breaking news, hilarious memes, and talking to cool people, it can also be a cesspool of awful trolls. To that effect, Twitter has been rolling out features that are meant to help anyone who is targeted with harassment, abuse, threats, and general troll antics, and now the site has created an expanded "mute" option, so people never have to see the harassment to begin with.
Before today, tweeters could use the mute feature to keep individual accounts out of their mentions. But starting today, Twitter has expanded mute to allow users to mute "keywords, phrases, and even entire conversations you don't want to see notifications about," according to the Twitter blog.
Twitter also announced that there will be a more direct way to report abusive accounts, but did not specify what the new reporting protocol will be.
In terms of enforcing the site's "hateful conduct policy," Twitter says that it has "retrained all of our support teams on our policies, including special sessions on cultural and historical contextualization of hateful conduct, and implemented an ongoing refresher program. We've also improved our internal tools and systems in order to deal more effectively with this conduct when it's reported to us. Our goal is a faster and more transparent process."
Twitter also recently made the "quality filter" option available to all users, where some harassing tweets are automatically filtered out of a users mentions.
Of course this won't stop the abusive jerks of Twitter from doing what they do, but hopefully the new features will give them fewer opportunities to ruin Twitter for the rest of us.