User Muting Option

The option of muting other users without unfollowing / unsubscribing / unfriending them.

How does this mitigate hate?

In situations where users are are following/subscribing/friending a user that is posting content that is triggering, blocking or unfollowing/unsubscribing/unfriending that user could lead to further confrontation so muting becomes an option with less potential for future conflict.


When to use it?

Platforms that allow for posting content, messaging other users, and/or commenting on other user’s posts should use this pattern to provide users with the option of muting other users when they don’t want to see content from specific users that may be triggering, but don’t want to unfollow/unfriend them which could increase tension.

How does it work?

The ability to mute specific types of content (posts only; stories only; all content) enables users to further refine the content they want to be exposed to without unfollowing/unfriending other users.

Users should be able to easily mute another person with tools that are accessible from that person’s profile name.

Muted users should not be notified of the mute.


This pattern provides the ability to refine the content and people users want to be exposed to without unfollowing/unfriending them, which could reduce escalation of tension between the users by keeping the refinement anonymous.


Mute option on mobile Twitter allows users to mute an account.
(Screenshot taken September 2021)

Instragram offers users the ability to Restrict another account as a lesser option to fully blocking.
(Screenshot taken September 2021)


Crumlish, Christian, and Erin Malone. Designing Social Interfaces : Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience. 2nd ed. Sebastopol, Ca: O’Reilly Media, Inc., August, 2015.

Feldman, Brian. “How to Block, Mute, and Avoid Your Enemies Online.” Intelligencer, November 11, 2019.

PEN America. “Blocking, Muting, & Restricting.” Online Harassment Field Manual. Accessed September 28, 2021.