Twitter certainly has its uses, but it isn’t exactly the most wholesome place. Many users have to deal with constant abuse and if a user has their Direct Messaging inbox set to open, anybody is free to send them whatever they want. It shouldn’t fall to individual users to close off their inboxes to protect themselves from abuse and spam. It now looks like Twitter is moving to protect this notion with the introduction of a new filter.
Twitter is preparing to test a new Direct Message inbox filter that will cut out spam and abuse
For too long, Twitter has thrown all inbound direct messages into a single inbox. This means that whether you’ve received messages from a friend, somebody you follow, or a stranger, somebody you don’t, they’ve all shown up together. When you think about how big the internet is, this concept alone is almost ridiculous. Add to this the fact that trolls exist, and the internet is full of not very nice people, and this clearly becomes a recipe for disaster.
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
Now, following a tweet from twitter, this situation finally looks set to change. Twitter is adding a new button to your Direct Message inbox called Message Requests. This is where you’ll find all the messages you receive from people who you don’t follow.
Furthermore, the new Message Requests section of your inbox also comes bundled in with new filters. These filters should catch all unwanted material and hide it behind a new Show button. This means that whenever you read a message from somebody you don’t know, that has been caught up in the filters, you won’t have to view the message unless you tell Twitter you want to see it. It gets better because if Twitter thinks the message has potentially harmful content, it won’t show any preview of the message. You’ll be able to delete any messages you receive from people you’re not sure about, without even having to read the first few words.
This move from Twitter mirrors how Facebook Messenger handles inbound messages from strangers. They’re hidden away and need to be sought out, before they can be viewed. Personally, this means that I’ve stumbled across messages I received years ago, that I never even knew about.
All in all, though, this is a very positive move from Twitter and one that should be applauded. It is an unfortunate truth that many people have to close their Twitter Direct Message inboxes because of the abuse they receive. This move potentially makes Direct Messages a much more useful tool. More of us will set our inboxes to open, if we can be certain that having open Direct Message inboxes isn’t going to leave us vulnerable to torrents of abuse. Quite frankly, it is about time Twitter did this.