Suppose you get roasted all the time for your bad takes on Twitter. Today is your luckiest day! The platform has announced a new function that gives users a range of options for limiting replies. You may resume tweeting to your heart’s content with full immunity.
As the Verge first reported from CES, Twitter’s director of product management Suzanne Xie announced that the company will release the function at some point this year. A Twitter PR image shows a mock-up of a pop-up menu over the tweet field that offers a few choices for which users one would like to repel from replying to their bad opinions:
- “Global,” is the traditional free-for-all
- “Group,” which is people you follow and mention
- “Panel,” which is just people you mention in the tweet
- “Statement,” which disables all comments
This builds on Twitter’s recent “hide replies” addition which allows users to move replies to a still publicly viewable but separate page.
That means we’ll likely have to dunk on all but the lamest of celebrities amongst ourselves, and God knows we’ll miss the centralised public forum in the presidential threads. Say hello to a lot more quote tweets. But this is a long-overdue move for a platform with a so-far scattershot, if not nonexistent, game plan to do something about hate speech and bullying that plagues the site. Jack’s public statements to this point have amounted to sphinx-like riddle.
Taming replies could prevent another coordinated Chinese troll mob from silencing support of Hong Kong protesters, limit political sock puppets’ reach, and stop the mobs from driving people to self-harm. A Twitter spokesperson tells Gizmodo that this is part of Twitter’s effort to “help people feel safe participating in the conversation on Twitter.”
It’ll be interesting to see what protocol Twitter makes up for itself. Maybe disabling replies will be considered a dick move, like unfollowing everyone and making a big announcement about it; or maybe it’ll just be used the same as Instagram and Facebook’s measures of last resort. A few men have great power to pave the way.