There’s nothing worse than taking a few minutes out of your day to have an innocent scroll on Twitter and suddenly being bombarded with a major spoiler for your favourite show. Smack bang in the middle of your timeline. Gah.
Without meaning to, you’ve stumbled across the winner of Strictly Come Dancing or accidentally read THE biggest And Just Like That plot twist ahead of time. It sounds ridiculous, but it puts you in a bad mood and you wish you’d never gone on the app in the first place.
Similarly, there are other topics you’d rather just avoid reading about online. Maybe a Twitter spat between Piers Morgan and his latest victim has been dragging out for too long or perhaps you just don’t feel like engaging with the never ending Covid conspiracy discourse any more.
More seriously, some users find certain subject matters triggering and need a way to keep any posts relating to particular incidents or phrases from their Twitter feed to safeguard their mental health.
Thankfully, there is a solution to the never-ending stream of online chaos. Twitter has allowed users to mute certain words or phrases from their timelines, so you can wilfully bury your head in the (digital) sand away from whatever you need to get away from.
So, how do you mute words on Twitter?
If you’re using an iPhone, it’s actually very simple. Just hold your finger down on the word you want to banish, choose ‘mute’ from the menu that pops up and you’ll be re-directed to a page where you can select where you want to mute the word from (your notifications or your timeline), from who (people you follow or users in general) and for how long (this can be until the end of time, one day, a week, or a month).
For Android users, or those using the iOS app, muting words on Twitter is slightly more complicated: You need to select your icon in the top left of the app, select ‘settings and privacy’, then ‘privacy and safety’, then ‘mute and block’, and finally ‘muted words’. You can then hit the plus sign and add as many banned phrases as you need to.
Or if you’re using Twitter on your desktop, just click the left-hand menu, select ‘more’, then ‘settings and privacy’ then ‘privacy and safety’ and ‘mute and block’ in the same way. Then click the right column to find ‘muted words’ and use the same plus sign in the top right corner. Just remember on computers that you need to click ‘save’ once you’re made your selections for the choices to take effect.
Twitter is fairly rigorous and when you mute a word, you consequently also mute that word’s hashtags. Additionally, muting isn’t case sensitive so it doesn’t matter if you type ‘succession’ or ‘SUCCESSION’ all mentions of it (with or without punctuation) will be hidden from your feed. Hooray.