Twitter announced a feature on Wednesday that lets users export their block lists and share them with others as a way of crowdsourcing troll-slaying. As of today, the feature is available to select users and will roll out to all accounts during the next few weeks. Within your settings, you can now navigate to the Blocked Accounts pane and choose to export your blocked accounts as a .CSV file, which will be stored to your computer. You can then share this file with others, who can use it as a point of reference or import the list to use within their own accounts.
It’s Twitter’s latest effort to address troll. In December, the Twitter team beefed up the blocking feature, giving users the Blocked Accounts settings page and disallowing blocked users from even seeing the profile of those who have blocked them. In March, it finally banned revenge porn. Twitter’s made improvements to the harassment reporting feature as well, and provided the mute tool.
Women in particular have been targeted by Twitter trolls, especially in the aftermath of Gamergate. Some have shut down their accounts in response, but others have been harassed to severely they’ve been driven from their homes. Comedian and author Sara Benincasa has been on Twitter since 2008, and in using the platform as an outlet for testing jokes and ideas and connecting with a large creative community, has seen Twitter’s ugly underbelly.
“I’d say women get targeted for a variety of reasons, and so women should take extra care, as should LGBTQ folks. It’s strange when I criticize someone’s work online in a measured, polite way—if I’m criticizing a man’s work, people will generally agree or disagree and we can go back and forth like adults having a debate. But if it’s a woman whose work I don’t like, people who even seem very even-keeled online will sometimes say terrible things about how ugly she is, how awful it is to weigh a certain amount, and worse. Way worse,” she says.
“I’ve certainly been trolled or had terrible things said to me, about me, about my friends, etc. You get threats sometimes. You hear slurs. You get weird DMs. You also get really nice feedback and communication too, or else you probably wouldn’t be on there,” Benincasa says. “It’s hard to know sometimes when to worry about your safety and when to dismiss it as mere trolling.”