This week, Twitter unveiled a new feature that helps its users flag NSFW content. Users are now able to give a “Content Warning” on pieces of media in their tweets, marking photos and videos as either “Violence, Nudity or Sensitive.” However, trolls and meme creators are not censoring raunchy content. Instead, many are using the feature for bait-and-switch purposes, blurring the dumbest of image macros in hopes that you’ll be gullible enough to click the “Show” button.

The Twitter content warning was first hinted at on December 7th, 2021. The official account of Twitter Safety posted a tweet (shown above) that detailed the feature and how to use it. How does one mark a photo or video as sensitive on Twitter? All you have to do is, when adding a photo or video to a tweet, click the “Edit” button in the bottom right corner. From there, click the “Flag” button that’s a symbol of a waving flag. Then, you can either mark it as “Violence, Nudity or Sensetive.” After sending the tweet, the meme or video will be blurred. The viewer can only click “Show” and hope for the best.

It took a little while for Twitter users to notice the content warning option. It wasn’t until January 24th that they started using it, after one or two of them discovered the buried option when they the “Edit” button. Exponentially over the course of a day, users started blurring NSFW content. Most of it, however, wasn’t edgy at all. Instead, Twitter users took the opportunity to troll their unsuspecting followers. Over the course of the 25th and 26th, the average Twitter user’s timeline was flooded with blurred imagery.

The average timeline scroll continued to be bombarded with censored media. As a result, meta iterations began to blend into the mix. Quickly, Twitter’s content warning was becoming its own pop culture reference. As users clicked on more of them, they got used to not actually seeing NSFW content. So when they actually clicked on one and it was boobs or a beheading video, they were shocked. This created a whole new problem. Funny tweet posters didn’t hesitate to reference this conflict of interest.

As the content warning feature becomes more mainstream, it’ll be interesting to see how meme creators evolve it. For some, it’s definitely helpful because it aims to eliminate triggers and unwanted dick pics. But for right now, it’s a bait-and-switch prank that follows all the rules of the classic ones. The question really is if Twitter will back out of this decision like they’ve done with so many of their features in the past. However, something like Fleets was always used for nudes anyway.





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