On Friday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that new rules were in the works that would prohibit “unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence” from being shared on Twitter. The move followed the success of the #WomenBoycottTwitter protest, which arose after actress Rose McGowan’s account was suspended late Thursday evening.
The surprisingly specific nature of Dorsey’s announcement seemed to suggest that a crackdown on some of Twitter’s most infamous members (read: actual Nazis) may be imminent. But given Twitter’s extremely shaky track record when it comes to doing basically anything that would infringe upon the rights of literal swastika-waving Nazis, Dorsey’s claim that “these changes will start rolling out in the next few weeks” is likely no more than lip service to outraged users.
While we wait to find out, you can actually take matters into your own hands and use this little-known feature to punch Nazis off of your timeline all by yourself.
First, open Twitter on a desktop and navigate to Settings. Under the Content header, you’ll see options to choose your country. Pick Germany (or France, if that’s your thing), and like magic, those Nazi accounts will vanish.
As first pointed out by blogger Kevin Marks, this feature works because the sharing of Nazi imagery is illegal in both Germany and France, so Twitter is required to filter certain problem accounts or posters out. Changing your country won’t turn your Twitter feed German, nor will it affect your local Trending Topics, all it will do is kick the most egregious of Nazis off of your timeline.
So go forth and block en masse! You can even pretend for a moment that you live in a country that actually prohibits outright Nazism, I won’t tell.