There can be many reasons why you may not want to see a particular word on social media. Whether you are trying to avoid spoilers of your favourite TV show, stop seeing content on a particular news topic, or help deal with online bullying, the ability to mute keywords and hashtags is an important feature of social media channels that prevents you from having to isolate yourself entirely from these platforms. We take a look at exactly how this can be done on three key social media channels Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Here’s how to do it on Twitter:
Twitter first introduced keyword muting in 2016, and it allows you to block everything from words and hashtags to, usernames, emojis and phrases. Muting will remove these tweets from your notifications tab, push notifications, SMS, email notifications, home timeline, and from replies to tweets.
To get to your list of muted words, go to your notifications and tap either the gear icon (on mobile) or the “Settings” option (on the web) at the top of the screen. The next steps differ depending on whether you’re on mobile or desktop, so we’ll go over both separately.
On mobile, you’ll find the option “Muted” in the settings. Here you can navigate between muted words and accounts. Select Muted words and you’ll be able to see which words you’ve already muted, and then add more.
On desktop, the settings show you several options to mute your notifications, and under “Advanced,” you’ll see “Mute specific words from your notifications and timeline.” Muting is case-insensitive. For example, if you add “CATS” to your mute list, any mention of “cats” will not be muted from your notifications
Unfortunately, muting specific words on Facebook is more difficult than Twitter, since the platform got rid of the ‘Keyword Snooze’ feature. However, you can snooze specific pages for 30 days by clicking on one of their posts and then finding the snooze option. This is most easily done on your mobile and will also transfer over to your desktop. If you really want to block words you can also install an extension on your browser that will work as a filter.
You can also prioritize what you see in your news feed. Go to “News Feed” in the side bar and hit the ellipsis next to it or find “news feed preferences” in your mobile settings. This will let you choose what you’ll see first in your news feed.
Instagram’s mute feature is slightly different from Twitter and Facebook. Comments that may be inappropriate, offensive or bullying are automatically filtered out from your posts, stories and live videos. However, you can also turn on a keyword filter for specific words, phrases, numbers or emoji that you’d like to avoid. To use this feature, go to your profile and tap on the three lines in the top right corner. Then go on the gear cog for settings, tap Privacy > Comments and finally tap next to Manual Filter to turn it on. Once you’ve done this you can enter the text you don’t want to see.
However, it is worth noting that currently custom keyword filtering doesn’t support languages without spaces, for example: Chinese, Japanese, and Thai.
Another handy feature on Instagram allows you to prevent people’s posts from showing up in the app, which comes in use if you don’t want to see someone’s pictures but also don’t want to unfollow them.
To activate this simply tap on the menu button at the top right corner of a post from the user and tap Mute. It is also worth noting that the person will not be alerted that they have been muted. It also works with Stories, which you can mute from the menu there as shown in the image below. You’ll still be notified when you’re tagged in posts or comments by that user, though.
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