After banning political advertisement on Twitter, the micro-blogging website is set to introduce a slew of changes that will put limitations its ‘reply’ feature. It will let the user control who can reply to the tweet as one composes it.
Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s director of product management, unveiled the changes that are to be made this year.
Speaking at a CES event in Las Vegas, Xie said that Twitter is adding a new setting called conversation participants with four option, ‘Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.’ With ‘Global’ setting anyone can reply as usual but the other three settings will start filtering out the participants.
‘Group’ will allow those people who user follow and mention in the tweet while ‘Panel’ is people you specifically mention in the tweet. The last feature ‘Statement’ allows the user to post a tweet and receive no replies.
Twitter will add 4 settings on who can reply to your tweets.— Dare Obasanjo (@Carnage4Life) January 8, 2020
• Global lets anyone reply
• Group is for people you follow & mention
• Panel is people you specifically mention in the tweet
• Statement allows you to post a tweet and no one can reply https://t.co/6MBkMF8RFr
Many people welcomed the decision calling it a deterrent to online harassment and the feature could solve a lot of abuse and harassment.
Hallelujah, the feature I've been wanting for YEARS https://t.co/zO98PAlnB0— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) January 8, 2020
Women: \o/— 🆂🅴🆅🅴🅽 (@daisy20071) January 9, 2020
Men: But how will women ever be exposed to ideas which differ from their own if they don't engage every passing rando on Twitter? https://t.co/cyz4gl7gFF
Well this is great for curbing harrassment and bad for the spread of misinformation. https://t.co/4hHKLuABQG— angela mary claire (@AngeMaryClaire) January 8, 2020
Some people also raised concerns about the misuse of the feature in spreading fake news. “We're in the middle of a tornado outbreak and someone posts a picture of the 2013 Moore tornado and says it's happening now and approaching a major city. It's got 3,000 RTs and climbing. They shut off replies so no one can correct them and try to blunt the impact,” wrote a user.
Kayvon Beykpour, product lead at Twitter agreed to the risks highlighted and added that the team is taking into consideration how to build it. “For example, I think it’s important for us to allow quote tweets (an important way to dispute/debunk somebody’s tweet), paired with an easier way to see QTs,” he replied.
Twitter communications said that it wants to help people feel safe participating in the conversation on the micro-blogging platform by giving them more control over the conversations they start. “We’ll be experimenting with different options for who can reply to Tweets in early 2020,” it tweeted.