Tuesday, 18 February, 2020


Twitter is testing a safety feature to detect and hide offensive DMs

Twitter wants to remove spam abuse from your DM inbox Twitter wants to remove spam abuse from your DM inbox
Melba Vasquez | 19 August, 2019, 16:27

This will allow users to choose whether to read a message if they recognise the user, or to ignore it.

Twitter has a separate Messages section where you and your follower can communicate with each other privately.

If the same technology is powering this new test filter, then it could potentially hide DMs that Twitter users want to see. It additionally has a "quality filter" that will remove what it characterizes as "lower-quality" messages from your message requests folder totally.

And even upon viewing this list of filtered messages, all the content itself isn't immediately visible.

For women, and other groups that are subjected to online harassment, a lot of abuse comes in the form of direct messages, (the feature requires both parties to follow each other, or for the recipient to keep their inbox open to DMs from anyone).

A message filter fits in with a broader push by the company to crack down on offensive or abusive content that takes place within the platform.

Twitter is positioning this new feature as a way to avoid "unwanted messages" and says this test will keep unsolicited DMs "out of sight, out of mind". Twitter will file messages from users you don't follow in a folder called "message requests".

Nonetheless, a lot of the abuse and vitriol on Twitter comes within the type of direct messages from flawless strangers - a lot of which customers could not even observe.

This latest filter for sensitive content by Twitter is a little bit of a happy middle floor.

Twitter has not mentioned how long this test will last for, or indeed whether it plans to make this new filter a fully fledged part of the platform. The tweets aren't deleted, but rather placed behind an extra click - similar to this Direct Message change. So very-not-fun, in fact, that a year ago Twitter implemented its first direct message filter for accounts open to DMs from anyone.

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