Twitter has been on a bit of a tear of late when it comes to new features that it wants to test out. The latest is a filter for offensive direct messages (DMs), with the Twitter Support account confirming that the feature is currently being tested out.
With the DM portion of Twitter often resembling the YouTube comments section, as far as divisive content goes, the filter will no doubt be welcome for female users in particular who are often subjected to some less than savoury messages at best.
DMs that Twitter’s new filter flags as potentially offensive will be placed in a folder named “additional messages”, with users capable of reading them separately should they wish.
Unwanted messages aren’t fun. So we’re testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind. pic.twitter.com/Sg5idjdeVv
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) August 15, 2019
It should prove interesting to see how effective such a filter will be, especially as features like this which depend on algorithms or machine learning can often flag a lot of the wrong content. It’s something we’ve seen happen on YouTube in particular when it comes to potentially explicit videos.
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. Also missing is what kinds of measures the social media application will take against users whose DMs are constantly being filtered or flagged by other users.
Regardless it is at least good to see Twitter taking a more proactive approach to the way that abusive content is handled on its platform, which has become a lighting rod for divisive topics in the past.