If you've ever signed up for a Twitter account, you'll have noticed that every new user has an egg for an avatar. Most users will change it straight away, but anyone looking for a throwaway account tends to just leave it. That means an awful lot of so-called 'eggs' end up being trolls trying to anonymously stir up trouble for whatever reason. Now, because banning throwaway accounts is a futile endeavour, Twitter is letting people mute every last one of them.
It's no secret that Twitter has has a problem with harassment and trolling in recent times, and has faced a lot of criticism for seemingly not doing very much about it. Today it's released a new set of tools for people to filter harassment out of their timelines, and one of them involves muting every single user that uses the default egg profile. That means if you don't want your Twitter account to be ignored and die, you're going to need to get yourself a proper avatar.
That's not all, though. Also introduced today are personalised filtering tools that lets users hide specific keywords, phrases, or conversations from their timelines, as well as new automation tools to help identify accounts that frequently harass others. The automated system will flag users that frequently tweet at non-followers, have unverified email addresses or phone numbers, and those who haven't changed the default profile photo.
Twitter has admitted that the automated system, which is algorithm-based, will likely make mistakes at first, but it has promised to only act against accounts it's confident behaving abusively on the platform.
Twitter has also promised to be more transparent about the abuse issue, announcing general improvements to the abuse-reporting system - which will also add progress reports to their notifications. [Twitter via Wired]