I love Twitter but some of the replies I get and some of the posts I see are horrible. Are there ways to mute or block people based on words they use or their Twitter account status?
Totally understand your mixed emotions towards Twitter. For all the interesting conversations and smart people using it there are also hoards of crazy folk, hostile people and fake accounts that simply enjoy being crass or critical for the fun of it. Some fun, eh? But yes, any social media channel, whether Twitter, Facebook or anything else significantly improves if you spend some time setting up filters, unfollowing people who you don’t enjoy reading, etc.
Twitter seems worst off, however, perhaps because it’s so easy to have fake accounts. Spam, scams, porn, the stream of junk seems to be never-ending. Fortunately the Twitter team is aware of the problem and keeps adding new filtering options, so let’s have a look at the latest advanced filtering as a way for you to tame the wild party of Twitter!
To start, go to the Notifications section of the Twitter app. I’ll use the iPhone / iOS app but the Android app is basically the same too:
On the top right is a gear icon; tap on that to get to the filtering settings and options:
First step is to turn on the “Quality filter” which by itself will apply mystery algorithms to improve your feed and Twitter experience. Tap on “Muted” halfway down to start your personalization process, however. You’ll see that there are two options:
You can mute accounts – I have one muted – but you can also specify words that you find so offensive, so crass, that you just want them filtered out and never shown to you. Tap on “Muted words” to proceed.
During the last presidential election I was definitely tempted to mute both “trump” and “clinton” but I’m not sure there would have been any tweets left on Twitter. Add your own mute words by simply tapping on the “Add” button on the lower right. You can always remove a word if you find it’s getting rid of too much of your Twitter stream, of course.
Back up to the main settings screen and tap on “Advanced filters” before we’re done too. There are a lot of ways you can refine your stream here too:
This is how you can really manage your notifications stream if you’re finding that random people who you don’t know are responding and being hostile or critical. If they haven’t updated their profile photo from the default, or haven’t confirmed elements of their account, for example, it’s likely that they’re fake or spam accounts, and easily ignored.
Try different settings and see if that improves your interaction on Twitter, and don’t worry about ignoring the stupid folk; quite honestly some people don’t expect a response, they just like to taunt. And who needs digital bullies in their life?