Photo: ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP/Getty Images)

Twitter revealed on Tuesday in a gathering with journalists that’s it’s planning to roll out a feature that lets users follow specific topics on the service. The social network is testing a bevy of new features like conversation moderation, search for private messages, and more.

Yes, but: The company also used the event to discuss some of its work and processes in areas like user safety, “health” of the service, and security — areas in which Twitter has been heavily criticized for failing to take swift or clear action to solve problems.

Some highlights:

  • Twitter conversations: Along with experimenting with threading conversation replies, the company is also “re-energizing [its] investment in DMs,” said product management director Sara Haider, which will include an upcoming search function for direct messages.
  • User control: The company is testing various ways to let users exert more control over their experience of the service. For example, in Canada it’s testing the ability for users to moderate replies to their tweets by downgrading certain responses.
  • Content moderation: Twitter now has nearly 1,500 employees focused on moderation and responding to content reports, who are now spread across 9 locations around the world (up from 2 locations a year ago, according to Twitter Service vice president Donald Hicks).
  • Trust and safety vice president Del Harvey also confirmed that the company has yet to use its new “public interest interstitial” label created for cases in which a it doesn’t take down content from a public figure that violates its rules.
  • Edit button: “It’s a feature that we should build at some point but it’s not anywhere near the top of our priorities,” said product chief Kayvon Beykpour, adding that Twitter should find a way to help people fix typos, or clarify what they said, though there are obvious risks that such a feature could be abused.
  • Interest topics: Beykpour said there will be topics that Twitter will bar from emerging as ones users could follow, though he didn’t use any specifics or examples (he was prompted by a reporter’s question about topics like anti-vaccination).
  • Vine: “I do regret that we shut down Vine,” said Beykpour, adding his regret has nothing to do with Chinese short-video app TikTok’s growing popularity. “I think Vine was really amazing and was on the forefront of giving people tools to experiment with video.”

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 20,294,091 — Total deaths: 741,420— Total recoveries: 12,591,454Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,141,207 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.