As a part of their continued effort to fight harassment on their platform, Twitter has announced another change to their notification system. Effective immediately, users will no longer receive notifications about replies to a conversation if they’ve blocked or muted the user who started that conversation.
News of the change came courtesy of the Twitter Safety account in a post on Thursday morning. “Now, you won’t be notified about replies to conversations started by people you’ve blocked/muted,” the Tweet read, “unless replies are from people you follow.”
Previously, even if someone on Twitter muted or blocked another user, they would receive notifications when other replied to a that person’s conversation (if the original user had participated in a conversation with them of course). Users couldn’t see who they had blocked, but they would get notifications when other people replied to that person, giving a hint as to what the conversation was.
While this is intended to curb harassment on Twitter, it’s worth considering that this will filter all replies – even ones in support of the user being harassed.
This announcement comes as Twitter is scrambling to fight what many people call the site’s biggest problem – out of control harassment. The site has made a number of changes in recent weeks, but immediately backtracked on at least one after users complained. It’s a tough spot for Twitter. They have to make changes to make the site a safer place, but doing so comes as the risk of removing features people enjoy.
A recent Buzzfeed report found that Twitter was potentially “shadowbanning” users, where users aren’t outright banned, but their postings are only shown to their immediate followers. Affected users received an e-mail that simply read “We’ve detected some potentially abusive behavior from your account, so only your followers can see your activity on Twitter for the amount of time shown below” – usually 12 hours.