How to keep politics out of your Twitter timeline

Too much government gab in your feed? Now you can block specific words (or, ahem, names). Here's how.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
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Now it's easy to block certain kinds of content from your Twitter feed.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Twitter just become bearable again.

The service has introduced new filters that allow you to block specific words from both your timeline and your notifications.

That means if you're as sick to death as I am of politics cluttering up the bulk of your feed, well, now you've got options.

For example, I think it goes without saying that mentions of President Trump are, oh, let's say, frequent. Personally, I could do without. And now I can, because I just set up a filter to block "Trump."

Ahhhhhh. Suddenly my feed seems much better balanced.

Want to do likewise? Here's how, starting with Twitter in your browser:

Step 1: Click your profile picture (top-right corner), then click Settings and privacy.

Step 2: In the Settings bar at left, click Muted Words.

Step 3: Click Add, then type a word or phrase you want to block. Note that you also have choices about where to mute -- timeline, notifications or both -- and for how long. (Perhaps you just want to skip the news cycle on a particular event; you could set the duration to, say, 7 days.)

If you're using the Twitter app (the official one), you'll find that those settings carry over; your newly established mute(s) should be in place the next time you connect.

Or, you can set them up within the app:

Step 1: Tap the Me icon, then the gear, then Settings.

Step 2: Tap Notifications, then Muted words.

Step 3: Tap Add muted word or phrase and complete the process. Note, however, that in the app, you can't set parameters the way you can in your browser. What's more, the app is currently still limited to muting your notifications; words or phrases you set up within the app will still appear on your timeline. (I suspect app updates are imminent that will match the desktop capabilities.)

Recently, Twitter also made it possible to mute notifications from unverified accounts, the idea being to help avoid abusive Twitter trolls.

With these new filters, you can get a lot closer to the kind of Twitter feed you want -- free of the words, phrases and/or people you'd rather not see.

Your move, Facebook. (Actually, there is a way to block politics from your Facebook feed, but it's a third-party tool.)