Twitter shows some character by finally letting us mute trolls

By November 16, 2016November 17th, 2016Pop Culture

Twitter has finally launched a counteroffensive against trolls who have been on the attack for too long.

The social media giant announced yesterday that “abusive conduct” that thwarts healthy debate “threatens human dignity, which we should all stand together to protect.”

That’s an understatement.

Giving users tools to block those who threaten or attack comes just as they are needed most. One of Twitter’s most brilliant features is expanding the mute function, giving users the ability to block seeing trolls’ tweets from appearing in our feed.

That obnoxious jerk who attacks everything you say and do? He’s muted.

That mean-spirited woman who takes to Twitter and unloads a smorgasbord of hate? She’s gone.


One can imagine how often someone like me, a conservative columnist, in one of the bluest states in the country, will deploy the mute function.

In fact, when I log onto Twitter, it’s usually with the mindset, “How many trolls do I have to face today?” It’s unfortunate, given I’m someone who enjoys a good discussion or debate on a wide range of subjects — but sadly, there are too many out there in the Twittersphere who won’t argue the issues, but rather prefer to devolve in vicious, personal attacks.

I’ve been on the receiving end of that more often than not.

Take Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem. I tweeted I thought it was unpatriotic. Many on Twitter called me X-rated words I won’t repeat. Some threatened violence, and to say they were demeaning is an understatement.

Having been on Twitter for a while now, I’ve learned women are often no better. There are women on social media who disagree with my views but don’t express that in a respectful way. Instead, they post vitriolic blather attacking my looks or intelligence.

Then there’s crazy people who just want to attack others for the sake of it. Add it up and all this dampens our collective right to free speech because hateful trolls on Twitter are intimidating many who have valuable, diverse perspectives from joining the conversation. And then we all miss out.

Realizing this problem, Twitter has finally ramped up some remedies to deal with it. Muting an entire conversation, instead of just one troll, is great.

But for many, it may be too little, too late. They’ve already logged off — for good.

Adriana Cohen

About Adriana Cohen

Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist and tv commenator. Adriana’s weekly column appears in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including Fox News, the New York Post, and many others via the Creators Syndicate. To learn more, visit the About page.