Twitter’s New Way Of Curbing Abuse Is Limiting Replies


Social media platforms have spiked the rate of online abuse. The CES 2020 event is seeing hoards of gadgets, at the same time, tech companies are talking about privacy and handling user data. Now, Twitter's director of product management, Suzanne Xie has announced a couple of changes on the platform to curb online abuse.

Twitter Limiting Replies

Twitter Limiting Replies

Users can expect to see several changes on the Twitter platform, particularly focusing on Twitter conversations. The popular online social platform is testing a couple of new settings, giving more control to users. Twitter is working on limiting the number of replies for a tweet to handle the abuse and harassment users face on the platform.

Twitter New Settings

More importantly, Xie noted that Twitter is introducing a new setting for ‘conversation participants' when composing a new tweet. The feature includes four options - Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.

When users select Global option, it allows anyone to reply to the tweet; Group is for people who the users follow and mention in the tweet; Panel allows only those mentioned in the tweet to reply; and lastly, Statement simply allows the user to post a tweet without any replies to it.

Is It Good Or Bad?

Twitter is "in the process of researching the feature," notes Xie. The initial mock-ups are part of the experiment the company is going to run in the first few months of 2020. Depending on the results from the experiment, Twitter will decide to launch the feature globally by the end of the year.

Twitter Public Conversations

The new Twitter settings are certainly an important feature to limit online harassment. However, the question of limiting replies could lead to misinformation. Xie argues that the ability to quote tweets as one possible resolution, but it's "something we're going to be watching closely as we experiment," she said.

As she mentions, the public conversation on Twitter is "you tweet something everyone in the world will see and everyone can reply, or you can have a very private conversation in a DM. So there's an entire spectrum of conversations that we don't see on Twitter yet." By limiting replies on Twitter, the company is bringing out a middle ground - somewhere between private and public conversations.

Twitter Introduces New Settings

Moreover, the tweets will still be visible to all. It shows Twitter is focusing on the distribution of the tweet rather than curbing the number of viewers. Twitter CES Jack Dorsey has been vouching to make the platform safer. "Social media firms are under pressure to address harassment on their sites, which often occurs in unsolicited replies targeting women and minorities," he was previously quoted saying. The new feature might be a good introduction after all.

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