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If an alien came to Earth and wanted to understand what contemporary human culture looked like, we would probably show them Twitter. The content on Twitter can be funny, crude, informative, interesting, disgusting, or even all of the above. Among all of the social media platforms that exist today, Twitter has its own subculture of memes, trends, and hashtags. With all this in mind, it’s scary when your child tells you they have a Twitter account. If you know how to filter content on Twitter, you won’t have as much worries when your kid checks out their Twitter feed. 

What Kind of Content Exists on Twitter?

Many of us blindly accept the Terms & Conditions on any social media platform we sign up to. It’s best to read them carefully especially when your child creates an account. Twitter’s rules are excessive and rightfully so. Twitter claims that its platform is regulated to promote healthy public conversation. Some of its restrictions include: 

  • Hateful conduct 
  • Promoting suicide or self-harm 
  • Graphic violence and adult content 
  • Non-consensual nudity 

Note that the last bullet point was “non-consensual” nudity. Twitter has no problem with “consensual” nudity. It’s easy to forget what Twitter actually allows on its platform. For example, many parents don’t know that Twitter allows pornography though it does restrict it in some ways. 

Compared to other social media platforms, Twitter generally has a high tolerance for adult content. Twitter’s restrictions can explain why some types of adult content are allowed on the platform and some are not. 

How to Change Content Filters on Twitter

There are multiple ways of filtering content on Twitter. In fact, Twitter kind of filters some content on its own. 

What Content Does Twitter Filter? 

Twitter filters some content on its own. Some of the instances where Twitter decides to intervene are as follows: 

  • Placing a Tweet behind an interstitial: This means that a Tweet that contains sensitive content will be hidden behind an interstitial (an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading) that warns you of the content you’re about to see. 
  • Filtering adult content for under 18 years old: If a user is under 18 or doesn’t have a birth date added to their profile, they won’t be able to view adult content. 
  • Blocking a Tweet that violates Twitter’s rules or hiding it behind an interstitial: Sometimes Twitter decides to keep a Tweet that violates their rules but warns users before they see the Tweet. 
  • Marking someone as a Sensitive User: Twitter doesn’t allow users to use sensitive content as their profile photos or on live streams or basically anywhere else except in their Tweets. Twitter may mark some Tweets as sensitive to warn users that may not want to see such content. Users can also change their media settings to make things easier for Twitter. 

Image of a phone with a Twitter account called “Yourname” in view

How to Block Inappropriate Content on Twitter

Twitter’s settings allow you to filter out sensitive content, specific keywords, and individuals. Here’s how to do so. 

How to Block Sensitive Content on Twitter 

Content that Twitter deems sensitive is marked by the original Tweeter, or reported by others later. If you want to have a chance to say no to seeing sensitive content on Twitter, you should turn on the filter through Twitter’s settings. Here’s how to do so: 

  1. Go to Twitter.com on your desktop 
  2. Select the menu > Settings and privacy 
  3. In the “Safety” section, turn off “Display media that may contain sensitive content” 

You may also not want to see sensitive content in your search results. In that case, follow the steps above, except in the “Safety” section, in “Search filters” > Select “Hide sensitive content”

Filtering Keywords in Tweets

Filtering specific keywords can be done through both your desktop and your phone. This is a great way to make sure you don’t come across the content you think is inappropriate or triggering. You can even set a timeline for how long you want to mute a certain keyword. 

Filtering Keywords Through Your Desktop 

  1. Go to Twitter’s menu on your desktop 
  2. In “Content preferences,” go to the “Safety” section and select “Muted” > “Muted words” 
  3. Select “+” to add any words you want to be muted 

Filtering Keywords Through Your Phone 

  1. Swipe to the left to see the menu 
  2. Select “Settings and privacy” > “Content preferences” > “Muted” > “Muted Words” 
  3. Select “Add” to add the words you want to mute on Twitter 

Filtering Accounts on Twitter 

When you want to filter an account on Twitter, you can opt to either mute or block it. To do this, first go to the profile you want to mute or block. Select (…) and mute or block the username in question.

How Can I Report on Twitter? 

No matter what you do, you or your child will come across content (Tweets, Profiles, and Direct messages) on Twitter that you think should have been filtered. The content may be against Twitter’s guidelines or it may need to be flagged as sensitive content. After you report something, Twitter will notify you in 24 hours that their team has received the report. The consequences may range from marking a Tweet as sensitive content to banning an account. Here’s how to report content on Twitter: 

  • Reporting an Account: In the menu, you can go to “Report” and select “It’s abusive or harmful.” Twitter will ask you how it’s harmful. If Twitter asks you to select examples of harmful Tweets from that account you can choose to do so or simply skip. 
  • Reporting a Tweet: Select the dropdown arrow icon and then follow the same steps. 
  • Report a Direct Message: Select the (i) button > Report the account and choose other harmful messages if you want. Otherwise select “Skip” 

Does Twitter Have Parental Controls?

If you’re a parent and your child has joined Twitter, we have both good and bad news for you. The bad news is that Twitter doesn’t have parental control settings and there’s no indication that it will be implemented in the future. Other social media platforms that have parental controls are easier to supervise. For example, when you put parental controls on Facebook it’s much easier to monitor your child’s virtual well-being. 

The good news is that you can use a parental control app to achieve the same results.  An app like Safes can help you guide your child through a dangerous and vulgar virtual environment safely. The features that Safes provides help with limiting your child’s screen time on Twitter. Some of the features related to this topic include: 

  • Letting you set a schedule for your child’s use of Twitter 
  • Allowing you to limit your child’s screen time on Twitter 
  • Enabling you to instantly block Twitter if you need your child’s attention elsewhere 
  • Letting you limit the use of Twitter and other apps in specific places such as school 

Concluding How to Filter Content on Twitter 

Twitter’s age rating is 13+ on the platform itself and 17+ on Google Play and the App Store. To guide your child through Twitter, filter inappropriate content with the tools the platform grants you. If you think your child is able to maneuver the content of Twitter safely, use Safes to limit their excessive use of the platform. To learn more about the features and pricing of Safes, check out our FAQ. 

Mohammad Z.

Mohammad Z.

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