Twitter’s attempts to curb harassment on its platform don’t always go so well. (Looking at you here, one-hour period where Twitter announced users would no longer be notified when they were added to lists, before users complained and Twitter realized this was a terrible idea.) But today, the company announced a few new changes that seem like they might actually be somewhat helpful. The biggest is that users can now mute users without a profile picture, a.k.a. a Twitter egg, as well as users who do not have a cell-phone number or email associated with their account. While this won’t totally curb the issue, it gives trolling users a few more steps they’ll have to go through before being able to fully harass someone. And maybe, maybe, those steps will even cull a few lazy trolls — who can’t be bothered with the added steps of legitimizing their accounts — from the mix.
The company also announced it will be changing the way muting works. Instead of just muting from notifications, users will now be able to mute words and usernames from their timelines as well. Muting can be permanent, or users can opt to remove a word for a set period of time. So you can permanently remove the word “libtard” from your feed, but only mute “Game of Thrones” temporarily until you’ve caught up on the latest episode. Other changes include notifying users in more detail if anything happens after they report an account, and limiting who can see tweets from abusive users, “such as allowing only their followers to see their Tweets.”
None of these things are going to fix Twitter immediately, but they certainly can’t hurt. And they definitely get into the “next most critical thing” plaguing Twitter, which Jack Dorsey has been so vocal about wanting to fix. (The first most critical thing, of course, is Nazis.)