The micro-blogging platform, Twitter has put a new feature on trial recently. The feature, called “soft block”, is said to allow users to ignore their unwanted followers without officially blocking them. The trial is being done with a small group of users. With this development, Twitter aims to address privacy and abuse-related concerns of users on the platform.
While blocking prohibits people from viewing a user’s tweets or sending them messages on the platform, the soft block will allow their tweets to no longer be visible automatically in the removed follower’s timeline.
The blocking feature was often a concern for people as it notifies the blocked user, who may screenshot the notification and publish it.
To soft block their unwanted followers, users can go to their profile page, click on the “followers” tab, followed by the three-dot icon next to the follower’s name, and select “remove this follower”. Twitter will not notify the blocked user, with the soft block feature.
The micro-blogging platform has been in the news for the privacy concerns of its users after it received flack when black England footballers were subjected to racist tweets during the European Championship final.
Earlier this month, the social media giant also launched tests of an anti-troll feature to automatically block accounts sending abuse. With this feature, once a user activates the new “safety mode”, Twitter takes a note of it to temporarily block accounts using foul language or sending repetitive, uninvited replies and mentions, for seven days.
Twitter is reportedly planning a series of trials to make more privacy options accessible for users. One of those measures includes allowing users to archive old tweets and remove them from public view after a certain period of time, say 30, 60, or 90 days. Twitter will first ask users if they want their account to be public or private, and also allow them to remove themselves from a public conversation on Twitter.