Twitter has been doing a lot in the past months to help its users avoid online harassment. The latest move is an update to direct messages on the platform – requiring users to have to accept a message from accounts they do not follow on, before they can read them.
The new feature – confirmed by Twitter to Recode’s Kurt Wagner last week – was rolled out to all users the week before, as part of Twitter‘s “planned updates around user safety.” Now, any user receiving a direct message (DM) from a user they do not follow, will have that message’s content hidden, until he or she decides to accept it and read it.
In some respects the update helps users’ inboxes stay safe from online harassment to a certain degree, but users can still get trolled and harassed elsewhere. In my opinion, it’s just a nice added bonus that will help keep DM spamming to a minimum. When users receive a direct message, they can simply check the sending account before opening the message. And that is still pretty handy actually.
Of course, this feature really only works with accounts that have their direct message inboxes “open.” For those who only allow accounts they follow to message them, it’s useless. Let’s not forget, that Twitter also offers users the ability to block messages from specific accounts.