Twitter announced that it will be rolling out a new feature which will limit the participants in a conversation on the micro-blogging platform by letting the user control who can reply to the tweet. Twitter said that it is currently testing the feature and starting with a small percentage globally.
As per the new feature, a user can compose a tweet and mention people he/she wants to talk to by tapping on permission settings and choosing the option ‘Only people you mention’. The other two options are “Everyone” and ‘People you follow’. ‘Everyone’ will be the default setting which will let all users reply to the tweet while ‘People you follow’ will allow those people to reply whom the user is following on Twitter.
Testing, testing...— Twitter (@Twitter) May 20, 2020
A new way to have a convo with exactly who you want. We’re starting with a small % globally, so keep your 👀 out to see it in action. pic.twitter.com/pV53mvjAVT
While many welcomed the decision calling it a deterrent to online harassment, people also raised concerns about the misuse of the feature in spreading fake news. “This a bad idea! You guys are always trying to fix what's not broken, I know you feel the need to always be "improving" or "innovating" but the hidden replies thing and now this.. all its doing is hindering proper engagement and conversation, allowing fake news to go unchecked,” commented a user.
In January, Kayvon Beykpour, product lead at Twitter had 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 tweeted.
Twitter communications had 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.