Twitter is reportedly planning to introduce new features that will allow users to control who can reply to their tweets in an effort to crack down on abuse and harassment online. The feature will allow users to prevent replies altogether, or only allow people they follow to reply, a move that could dramatically lower the platform’s engagement.
Reuters reports that social media platform Twitter is testing new features this year that would enable users to limit who is allowed to reply to their tweets. This is reportedly done in an effort to crack down on abuse and harassment across the platform.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has promised since 2018 to increase the “health” of public conversation on Twitter, but many have felt that the social media platform has become increasingly toxic. The company discussed this new experiment in a tweet stating: “We want to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter by giving them more control over the conversations they start.”
At the end of 2019, Twitter launched a feature that allowed users to hide certain replies to their tweets in an effort to hide abusive comments and make the platform more user-friendly. Twitters newest feature to crack down on abusive content was unveiled at this years CES tech conference along with the company’s other plans to reduce the amount “toxicity” on the platform.
According to Twitter’s presentation, the company will enable users to choose from four different settings for replies to their tweets which are outlined in the tweet below:
Twitter will soon let you restrict who can reply to your tweets
🌎 Global – Anybody can reply
👥👥 Group -Only people you follow + mention can reply
👤👤👤 Panel – Only people you mention in the tweet can reply
🗣 Statement – Nobody can replyhttps://t.co/Ef6p2yG7Va
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) January 8, 2020
Many commenters pointed out that the main idea of Twitter is the ability to reply to anyone and comment on their post, including elites and famous people. Others pointed out that the platform change seems rushed and half-baked, a common situation for the platform.
Twitter is destroying itself by giving elites the ability to block all replies to their stupid tweets (goodbye ratios)
This will censor public criticism of elites, insulating them in a bubble, and lead to fewer average people using this hellish website https://t.co/YGGQqKdelr
— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 9, 2020
There must be a better mechanism for handling abusive replies. Sure, it has good intentions, but it can be abused for propaganda.
— Nick Flor-ProfessorF (@ProfessorF) January 9, 2020