Jan 8, 2020

Twitter will add the ability to limit who can reply to tweets

Photo: Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Twitter plans to roll out the ability for users to limit who can reply to their tweets with four new options, director of product management Suzanne Xie said at CES in Las Vegas on Wednesday, according to The Verge.

Why it matters: The change marks a departure from Twitter's wide-open approach to online interactions and represents a response to rising discontent with harassment and abuse on the service. Until now, users' control came only in the form of after-the-fact options like blocking other users or, more recently, hiding certain replies to their tweets.

Details: Users sending a tweet will be able to select one of four categories for replies.

  • Global: Anyone can reply.
  • Group: People the user follows and mentions can reply.
  • Panel: Only people mentioned in that tweet itself can reply.
  • Statement: No replies allowed.

Yes, but: Some have pointed out that these new options could make it easier for users to prevent others from countering misinformation or inaccuracies, which users often do by replying to tweets.

  • Xie said that the ability to "quote tweet" (reposting a tweet with one's own commentary) could be an alternative, but that this is “something we’re going to be watching really closely as we experiment.”

Go deeper: Twitter's plans: Follow topics, edit tweets someday

Go deeper

The dangerous side of limiting Twitter replies

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter's plan to allow users to control who can reply to their posts, announced Wednesday, is largely welcome news for those who are routinely harassed on the service — including many people of color, women, LGBTQ+ folks and other groups often targeted by online mobs.

Why it matters: It could create an even riper environment for misinformation — especially when combined with Twitter's policy of allowing elected officials' tweets to stand, even when they violate the rules that apply to other users.

Go deeperArrowJan 9, 2020

Trump breaks daily tweet record as Senate hears opening impeachment arguments

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump broke his personal record for most tweets or retweets in a day Wednesday, reaching a total of 141 by 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The bulk of Trump's tweets are impeachment related and underscore his occupation with the Senate's impeachment trial, even as he attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The tweets and retweets range from attacks on House impeachment managers to cable news clips of Republicans coming to his defense.

Go deeper ... Tweet by tweet: Trump praises Trump 2,026 times

Keep ReadingArrowJan 22, 2020

Tinder to debut panic button for when users feel unsafe

Photo: Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tinder will debut a feature later this month that will allow users to hit a panic button if they feel physically unsafe on a date gone wrong, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Critics have previously called out Tinder for not doing more to ensure the safety of users and filtering out possibly dangerous users, especially following reports of sexual assaults after connections made via the app.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020