While many use Twitter to keep in contact with friends or put their opinion out into the world, it is still full of terrible things. Everyday when scrolling through my Twitter feed, I see people having to respond to hate or dispel another rumor. A lot of tweets are dedicated to making people feel bad, and the constant trolling has never been that funny. But with Twitter’s newest function that was accidentally leaked early, then taken away, anybody can choose certain words to block. It’s simple: all there is to do is to write in the word, and all tweets with that word will be blocked from the person’s feed. Many other websites have employed something similar, and many people have called for safe spaces within the internet, where they can’t be harassed. This is a step for Twitter to become a more widely used social media for everyone.
I wholeheartedly support the idea of adding this function. The sheer amount of cyberbullying can be terrifying, and with this, most of it can be blocked easily. I know people who have been through traumatic experiences and wish not to be reminded of them.I think that the best part of this feature is that it’s completely personal. If somebody chooses to block a phrase, everyone else will still be able to see it. It’s a good step in creating safe spaces while still upholding free speech. I’ve heard people criticize similar functions on other websites by claiming “censorship,” but if it’s personal, then it doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. It also doesn’t fuel trolls. If somebody has a word that has been blocked, they will never know. It lets them just direct all their hate into nothing without them knowing, so they don’t have the satisfaction of knowing they’ve gotten to someone. It’s similar to a more refined mute feature. The bonuses are that if a person likes most of what somebody says, then they can just block the few offensive tweets, while still seeing the rest.
Overall, there are no major disadvantages. It’s a good step for Twitter as a company. They can gain more users who now feel safer on their website. Before, muting or blocking people would be too much energy, where you would have to it to every individual. Now, with one feature, you can block thousands of tweets from many different users. It’s the most logical and the best working feature that Twitter could have implemented.