Twitter has just made another move in its uphill battle to curb abuse on the site. The social network is now making it easier to block a whole swath of users in a single blow.
Blocking users is one of the main ways people deal with abuse and harassment on Twitter – and though it's not always effective (users create other accounts to get around blocks), it helps.
Twitter is now allowing users to import and export block lists, making it easier for users to block groups of people in bulk.
"Mute and block are tools to help you control your Twitter experience. While many users find them useful, we also recognize that some users — those who experience high volumes of unwanted interactions on Twitter — need more sophisticated tools," says Twitter Safety engineer Xiaoyun Zhang. "That’s where this new feature comes in. You can now export and share your block lists with people in your community facing similar issues or import another user’s list into your own account and block multiple accounts all at once, instead of blocking them individually. We also hope these advanced blocking tools will prove useful to the developer community to further improve users’ experience."
All you have to do is go to your blocked accounts settings and the advanced options menu will let you export your block list or import a block list.
Over the past few months, Twitter has taken some small steps to help mitigate harassment. It tripled the team that handles reports of harassment, and began asking suspended users to verify a phone number and delete offending tweets before reinstatement. It updated its policies to specifically ban revenge porn and other content posted without a user’s consent. It made reporting threats to the police a little easier. It implemented a new notifications filtering option. Twitter has has also delpoyed a new algorithm to try to reign in abuse on the site. Twitter is currently working on a way to automatically detect abusive tweets – using indicators like account age and a tweet’s similarity to previously-flagged tweets.
Block list import/export functionality will start rolling out to some users today. Twitter says everyone should have it in the coming weeks.