Abuse has been an issue on Twitter since its creation, with the platform’s toxicity a subject of ongoing discussion and allegation.

Twitter, on the other hand, has been making efforts to remedy the situation. Even though Twitter has taken seemingly limited action for years, in the last year it has introduced a number of new control options, including the ability to limit unwelcome commenters, warnings about potentially harmful or offensive replies, and a Safety Mode that notifies users when their tweets are receiving negative attention.

These new capabilities, taken together, have the potential to have a significant effect — yet Twitter is far from finished. A few new control options have been unveiled by Twitter this week, which may help users avoid unpleasant interactions and the associated emotional stress when their tweets become the subject of abuse.

First off, Twitter’s developing new ‘Filter’ and ‘Limit’ options, which, as Twitter notes, would be designed to help users keep potentially harmful content – and the people who create it – out of their replies.

Twitter Filter and Limit

You’ll be able to automatically filter out tweets that include inappropriate comments or come from individuals that often tweet at you but with whom you never converse, as seen below. Additionally, you have the option of preventing future tweets from being replied to by the same users.

Also important: if you choose to conceal responses using the Filter option, anybody else in the app will not be able to see them too, save for the person who tweeted them. This is similar to how Facebook handles posts with the ‘Hide’ option for post comments.

That represents a major shift in strategy. So far, Twitter has allowed people to conceal material from their personal view in the app, but it is still visible to other people who have access to the same account. Using the Filter option, you may set it so that only you can see comments that are responses to your tweets. However, it’s possible that governments or companies may abuse it in order to silence critics.

Twitter’s real-time nature encourages reaction and engagement, as well as challenges to what people are saying, particularly about current or relevant topics. That’s arguably a more significant factor. However, the original tweet would still be available for reference, and individuals would potentially be able to quote tweet anything they wanted if they were able to shut down the debate.

As a result, it’s probably not a big deal, and it may help users get rid of the trolls and creeps lurking in their responses, which could lead to more active usage of the app in the long run

In addition to this, Twitter’s also developing a new ‘Heads Up’ alert prompt, which would warn users about potentially divisive comment sections before they dive in.

Twitter heads up

That may save you from stumbling into a poisonous bog and becoming a target for abuse by accident. Users will be urged to be more thoughtful in their tweeting process, as seen in the second screenshot.

It is unlikely that this would have a significant effect on user behavior, but it might at least encourage greater thought throughout the planning phase.

Twitter’s also developing new ‘Word Filters’, which is an extension of its existing keyword blocking tools, and would rely on Twitter’s automated detection systems to filter out more potentially offensive comments.

Twitter Word Filters

Additionally, you’ll be able to set up automated filters based on Twitter’s system recognition to remove things like spam and vulgarity, giving you yet another way to keep your data safe.

Some people may object to the use of these features as blinders to filter out information they don’t want to deal with, but if that’s what improves the user experience inside the app, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so? These tools seem to be useful additions.

Of course, the ideal situation is a polite and courteous discussion on all topics in which all participants are informed and respectful of one another. However, we’re talking about Twitter here, so don’t expect that to happen. Giving users additional control choices may be the best course of action, and it’s encouraging to see Twitter making progress in this area.