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Twitter changed its direct messaging product to try to protect users from spam and abuse

You now have to “accept” messages from people you don’t follow.

Drew Angerer / Getty

Twitter made a small update to its private messaging product this week in the hope of keeping users safe from spam and harassment.


The update requires users to manually “accept” a private message from accounts they don’t follow, hiding the content of that message until the user decides they want to read it.

The product would theoretically allow users to keep their direct message inboxes open so anyone can contact them, but give them a chance to analyze the account that contacted them before looking at the message.

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the new product is live for all users; it rolled out this week as part of the company’s planned updates around user safety.

This isn’t a perfect solution to Twitter’s private messaging issues, of course. Unless the sender of the message is an obvious troll, you still might be exposed to abuse or spam from strangers. But this update does add an extra layer of protection so you aren’t hit with a nasty picture or a racial slur the minute you open your inbox.

There are still other messaging protections in place. Users can close their direct message inboxes so only people they follow can message them, or keep their inboxes open but block individual accounts from sending them messages. Those features haven’t changed.

This update is not the only product change Twitter made this week. The company also tweaked conversations so that users can have more characters to reply to another user’s tweet. As with everything Twitter does, some people hated it.

This article originally appeared on

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