What just happened? Are there people on your Twitter followers list whom you wish weren't there but don't want to block—for whatever reason? Then here's some good news: the service is now rolling out a way to remove these accounts using a soft block feature.
Soft blocking someone on Twitter means they will no longer see your tweets on their timelines, and they won't be informed of their removal. However, unlike a full block, they will still be able to direct message you, and they can still follow you again if they wish.
To use the soft block feature, simply go to your profile and click on 'Followers.' From here, click on the three dots next to the person's name and select 'Remove this follower.' It's currently only available to web users; no word on when or if it's coming to the Twitter app.
The feature is the latest introduced by Twitter to help users avoid the trolls and abuse the platform has become infamous for, while allowing them more control over the experience. The company is also testing a tool on Android and iOS that will warn users if a conversation they're about to enter could become overly intense or heated. A way of supporting healthy conversation, as Twitter puts it.
In September, Twitter started testing safety mode, a feature that identifies and temporarily blocks accounts for seven days for using harmful language—such as insults or harmful remarks—or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions.
Ever want to know the vibe of a conversation before you join in? We’re testing prompts on Android and iOS that give you a heads up if the convo you’re about to enter could get heated or intense.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 6, 2021
This is a work in progress as we learn how to better support healthy conversation. pic.twitter.com/x6Nsn3HPu1
The mental health impact of social media platforms is currently under the spotlight like never before. Facebook is dealing with reports that it knows how harmful Instagram can be to teenage girls' mental well-being, as well as the whistleblower revelations. The firm recently made a bad situation worse by banning and sending a cease-and-desist letter to the developer of the Unfollow Everything extension, a tool that could potentially lessen the site's addictive and depressing nature.