Twitter tests a filter to screen ‘illicit’ messages

Twitter is moving ahead of its competitors when it comes to screening unknown and unpleasant messages. The social media platform recently announced that it is testing a filter that would contain a list of offensive ‘keywords’ and will single out the messages that contain them. These messages will be stored in a folder titled “additional messages” and users can view them if they prefer.

This year, the micro-blogging network has attempted to enable technology in flagging abusive content without the need for human intervention. The social network has also tested a ‘hide replies’ feature this year and made it easier for the users to report offensive tweets.

Nevertheless, most of the abusive content on Twitter emerges in the form of direct messages – from strangers that users don’t even follow. Generally, the harassment is targeted towards women and people of color. However, anyone can be a victim of bad actors on social media.



To minimize such incidents, Twitter will file unsolicited messages along with DMs from people the users don’t follow. These messages will be placed in a folder called “message requests” and the user can accept/decline, as they prefer.


The filter is also equipped with a ‘quality filter’ that will weed out ‘low-quality’ messages from the database entirely. The users will only be able to see these messages when they unselect the quality filter option.

Although the latest filter by Twitter seems promising and would certainly be helpful – such algorithm are also known to flag plenty of false positives and miss out on a lot of illicit content. Let’s wait and watch how the incentive by Twitter works out.

Read next: New Twitter Feature Prompts Tweets to New Followers

Featured Photo: GettyImages

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