Social Media

Twitter rolls out soft block feature for everyone

Remove those followers

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Being a social media platform, Twitter can get its fair share of toxic followers and commenters. Though the platform has always had a block feature, sometimes the toxicity can come from people we know but not necessarily dislike. Perhaps in response to an imminent need to control our feeds much more reliably, Twitter has launched a soft block feature for everyone using the platform.

As the name suggests, the new soft block feature won’t be as harsh as a total block. A complete block prevents users from seeing your content or messaging you directly. Ultimately, minus creating a new account, it completely burns off a bridge from toxic users.

On the other hand, Twitter’s new soft block feature just removes the user from your followers list. As a result, the said user won’t see your posts anymore on their feeds.

To soft block a user, go to your list of followers, click on the three-dotted icon beside the user you want to block, then select “Remove this follower.”

However, since it isn’t a hard block, soft-blocked users can still follow your account again. Similarly, they can still view your content or message you directly without needing to follow again. (Then again, if someone is that dedicated to toxicity, a hard block might be a better solution.)

The new feature is available for all users starting today.

SEE ALSO: Twitter starts rolling out more emoji reactions

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Instagram is adding a “take a break” feature

In response to a whistleblower situation

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Staring at a social media feed can be a mesmerizing experience. Before you even realize it, you might spend an hour just scrolling down an endless river of posts on Facebook or Instagram. While doing so can help whittle away some time, mindlessly scrolling down can lead to a lot of missed opportunities at work and in front of loved ones. To help keep people away from wasting their time, Instagram is introducing a “take a break” feature soon.

Officially confirmed by Facebook vice president of global affair Nick Clegg on CNN, Instagram will introduce the feature soon. As the name indicates, the platform will encourage to look at other content for a while, instead of just staying on your feed.

However, since Clegg’s statement is just an introduction to Instagram’s plans, no one knows how the feature will work. It can potentially block users from their accounts temporarily (like how anti-distraction apps work) or just present users with an easily dismissible prompt.

It’s a strategically timed announcement, though. Currently, Facebook is going through a whistleblower situation. Among other leaks and accusations, the company was also accused of knowingly maintaining an addictive platform for teenagers. As a result, Clegg explicitly states that the feature will cater to parents and their teenagers. However, the feature will ultimately help those who want to take a break from the platform as well.

SEE ALSO: Instagram is killing the swipe up feature

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Trump is suing Twitter for alleged censorship

He’s fighting back against a Twitter ban

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Former U.S. president Donald Trump continues to keep himself in the public eye despite all efforts to remove him. In the months leading up to his administration’s end, several social media platforms decided to ban the figure from posting on their sites because of false information charges. Not taking the bans lying down, Trump is now suing Twitter, the biggest platform to do so.

Filed in Florida (and reported via Reuters), the suit alleges that Twitter violated the former president’s First Amendment rights or the right to free speech. Florida isn’t a coincidence either. The suit also claims that the ban violates the state’s social media law which prevents social media companies from de-platforming politicians.

Those who peeked into Trump’s Twitter account when it was active should have noticed the rocky relationship it had with the platform since the start of the pandemic. The platform constantly labeled his tweets as misleading especially for content relating to COVID-19. Later on during the January 6 riots, the platform finally banned the account, rendering all tweets unavailable.

Regardless of Trump’s stance, Twitter and other social media platforms have upped their regulations regarding ambiguous information. A lot of content nowadays are given information disclaimers if it has anything to do with COVID-19. That said, Trump’s suit will likely go head-to-head with Twitter’s terms of service.

Besides Twitter, Trump has found itself on the receiving end of bans from other platforms including Facebook and Twitch. Since his bans, the figure has resorted to other tactics including building his own platform/blog. Suing Twitter is only the latest in the figure’s litany of strategies.

SEE ALSO: Trump administration blacklists Xiaomi, 10 other Chinese companies

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Social Media

Twitter starts rolling out more emoji reactions

It’s an experiment for now

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Twitter has a tried-and-tested palette of engagement options. Users can retweet, comment, or like tweets on the platform. However, the company has teased more emoji reactions coming to the platform soon. That time has finally come. Twitter is officially testing an additional set of emoji reactions for the platform.

Twitter is rolling out the new emojis in Turkey first for a limited time. The heart icon — or the platform’s like button — will have four additional options added: 😂, 🤔, 👏 and 😢. As such, Twitter users in Turkey can tailor their engagement with posts even better.

Notably, the new palette of reactions doesn’t really include a negative reaction. Despite adding a plethora of new features, Twitter is steering clear from facilitating negativity on the platform. The company even added a “dislike” button but doesn’t want to refer to it as a dislike button. In the same vein, the new emoji reactions don’t direct any negative emotion against anyone.

However, though the new feature adds a lot of flavor for Twitter, the experiment is still just that: an experiment set for a limited time. The company is still testing whether users will warmly accept the new reactions with open arms or not use it entirely. If the experiment is successful, the company has confirmed that it might expand the feature for other territories.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Communities will rival Facebook Groups

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