Twitter is giving all users access to the content warning feature it tested last year. The feature lets you hide individual photos and videos behind warnings for nudity, violence and “sensitive” content, rather than adding a blanket warning to all media tweets. It is available on Twitter’s Android and iOS apps as well as its web client.
Users can put a content warning on posts by adding a photo or video, tapping to edit it, then tapping a flag icon which will bring up the options listed above. You can label multiple disclaimers for an individual medium, and you can add a disclaimer to an image or video in one tweet but not another – although in the latter case, Twitter appears to place a single disclaimer on both.
The option to add ad-hoc sensitive content warnings to photos and videos you tweet is now available to everyone on Android, iOS, and the web.
To add a content warning, tap the flag icon while editing the photo/video after attaching it to your Tweet.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 25, 2022
As with the previous system, viewers can click “Show” to view media, and you cannot put disclaimers on the tweet text. The warning (so far) does not appear in embedded tweets or apps like TweetDeck. And there’s unfortunately no category for the tweets many people want to avoid the most: movie spoilers.
As the categories suggest, content warnings are intended as a way for people to avoid engaging with potentially disturbing or unwork-safe material. But members of other platforms have used them in more complex ways. The decentralized social network Mastodon allows users to write free-form content disclaimers that can be applied to text or multimedia messages, which can work as an informal tagging system for posts. Twitter’s system remains limited by comparison, but it’s more versatile than its predecessor – and you can always hide spoilers behind it at a glance.