National News

Unblocking Sensitive Content From Twitter

Posted January 3, 2018 9:10 p.m. EST

Q: I see posts in my Twitter feed that have “sensitive content” labels in place of the message. What counts as sensitive content, and how can I unblock it?

A: Twitter’s media policy generally does not allow images or videos depicting graphic violence, pornography or hate-group imagery to be attached to posts. Twitter users can report material they find objectionable by selecting the menu icon on the message and using the Report option.

However, the company makes exceptions when the posted material is deemed to be “artistic, medical, health or educational” content. To shield users who do not wish to see such things popping up in their feeds, Twitter blocks those posts from view with the “sensitive content” label.

If you prefer to judge the posts yourself, you can adjust your settings. Log into your account at, click your profile icon on the right and select “Privacy and safety settings” on the left. In the Safety area of the page, turn on the check box next to “Display media that may contain sensitive content.” (Those using the Twitter for Android app can also do this in the app’s settings.)

Likewise, you can make potentially sensitive content visible in Twitter searches by turning off the “Hide sensitive content” check box in the Search area. Click Save Changes when you are finished.

After years of a rather hands-off approach to policing its users, Twitter announced last month that it will enforce its new restrictions against abusive behavior and other hateful conduct. The company’s full list of Twitter Rules can be found in the site’s Help Center.

Copying Text Files From an iPhone

Q: I have a long series of text messages on my iPhone between my son and me. Is there a way to copy these from my phone to my computer and save the files in a Microsoft Word document?

A: Extracting a text conversation from your iPhone and saving it as a word-processing document is certainly possible, and there are a few ways to go about it. Many methods involve backing up the iPhone’s contents to the Mac with Apple’s free iTunes software, so if you have not already done so (or have not recently backed up your phone), consider this the first step and you get the bonus of having a fresh backup file as well.

If you do not care for a lot of technical fiddling, get one of the several programs designed to copy files from an iPhone to a computer with a few clicks. For example, the $40 iExplorer program, for the Windows and Mac operating systems, can grab a specific text conversation from the iTunes backup file and save it in a more common format like a plain-text file (which can be opened and saved in Microsoft Word), a comma-separated values file or as a PDF file. Photos and other attachments can also be retrieved. Similar apps include the $40 iMazing program for Windows and Mac, $20 CopyTrans Contacts for Windows and the $30 PhoneView for the Mac.

More labor-intensive approaches to extracting the messages from the phone can be found around the web if you are up for an adventure. However, a relatively inexpensive program that can also harvest music files, videos, voicemail and other content from your phone can be very useful.

If you use the Messages app on a Mac with the same account you use on your iPhone and can see the conversation you want to keep in the desktop Messages app, you can also select, copy and paste the text from there into a Word document. (Photos will probably need to be downloaded separately, and some emoji characters may not translate properly when pasted into a document.)