Twitter says choosing who can reply to your tweet can help you feel safer online

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Twitter launched new settings that provides customers extra management over who can reply to their tweets. 

Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Twitter stated Tuesday that it is releasing new settings that may let customers management who can reply to their tweet, a brand new software the corporate says helps some individuals really feel safer on-line.

The corporate began testing the new settings in Could and determined to roll out the characteristic to all customers of the app and desktop website. Whenever you compose a tweet, customers will see an possibility that lets them select who can reply. You’ll be able to enable everybody to answer to your tweet, solely individuals you comply with or solely individuals you point out. 

The characteristic might assist customers reduce down on harassment on the location, an issue that women have complained about for years. On the identical time, the American Civil Liberties Union and others have raised First Modification issues that the software might be abused by public officers who block audio system on accounts meant for public conversations. There have additionally been fears that the settings might additionally create extra “filter bubbles,” wherein individuals’s political viewpoints or biases are strengthened. 

Suzanne Xie, who directs product administration at Twitter, stated in a weblog put up that customers can nonetheless weigh in a on a tweet by retweeting a tweet with a remark, even when replies are restricted. 

“Twitter serves the general public dialog, so it is vital for individuals to have the ability to see totally different views,” she stated.


Twitter’s new settings let you let everybody reply to a tweet, solely individuals you comply with or solely individuals you point out. 


Twitter stated customers advised the corporate they felt extra snug tweeting due to the settings and it helped safeguard them from spam messages and abusive remarks. The settings prevented a median of three probably abusive replies and added one probably abusive retweet with a remark. Customers sending these abusive remarks did not resort to sending direct messages. 

Customers who reported abusive tweets to Twitter are thrice extra possible to make use of these settings, the corporate stated. In the course of the take a look at, about 60% of people that used the settings did not mute or block one other consumer. Individuals who managed who can reply to their tweets additionally wrote longer tweets than those that did not use the settings. 

The corporate stated that individuals have additionally been utilizing the settings to host interviews and make bulletins. Final 12 months, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey did an interview with Recode’s co-founder and journalist Kara Swisher on the location in what one journalist described as a “chaotic hellpit.” That is as a result of there have been so many replies as the 2 had been tweeting that it was troublesome for the general public to even comply with the interview. Limiting who can reply to your tweets can stop any undesirable remarks from coming in throughout a web-based interview.

Twitter stated there are extra instruments within the works. Within the subsequent few months, Twitter is planning “so as to add an possibility to ask extra individuals to the dialog after it begins, clear notifications for whenever you’re invited to affix a dialog utilizing these settings, and extra methods to see your entire dialogue.” Twitter has 186 million customers who log into the location day by day and may see adverts.

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Queenie Wong