Twitter has released new settings that give users more control over who can reply to their tweets.
Graphic from Pixabay / Illustration from CNET
Twitter announced Tuesday that it was releasing new settings that will allow users to control who can reply to their tweet. A new tool that the company claims will help some people feel more secure online.
The company was foundedin May and decided to make the feature available to all users of the app and desktop site. When you compose a tweet, users will be presented with an option to choose who can reply. You can allow anyone to reply to your tweet, only people you follow, or only people you mention.
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The feature could help users reduce nuisance on the website, an issue thathave complained for years. At the same time, the American Civil Liberties Union and others have raised concerns about the First Amendment that the tool could be misused by officials blocking speakers on accounts intended for public conversations. There were also fears that attitudes might also create more "filter bubbles" in which people's political views or prejudices are reinforced.
Suzanne Xie, who leads product management at Twitter, said in a blog post that users can still weigh a tweet by retweeting a tweet with a comment, even if responses are limited.
"Twitter is for public conversation, so it's important that people can see different perspectives," she said.
With Twitter's new settings, you can allow anyone to reply to a tweet, only people you follow or only people you mention.
According to Twitter, users have told the company that the settings make them more comfortable tweeting and this has protected them from spam messages and abusive comments. The settings prevented an average of three potentially abusive replies and added a potentially abusive retweet with a comment. Users submitting these abusive comments have not resorted to direct messaging.
Users who have reported abusive tweets to Twitter are three times more likely to use these settings, according to the company. During the test, about 60% of those who used the settings did not mute or block another user. People who controlled who could reply to their Tweets also wrote longer Tweets than those who didn't use the settings.
The company said people also used the settings to host interviews and make announcements. Last year,interviewed Recode's co-founder and journalist Kara Swisher on the website in what one journalist described as "chaotic" in hell. That's because there were so many responses when the two tweeted that it was difficult for the public to even follow the interview. If you limit who can reply to your Tweets, unwanted comments cannot be received during an online interview.
Twitter said there are more tools in the works. In the next few months, Twitter plans to "add an option that will allow more people to be invited to the conversation once it starts, clear notifications when invited to a conversation with these settings, and more ways to view the entire discussion." "" Twitter has 186 million users who log into the site and see ads every day.
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