Twitter [https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/twitter]is testing a new
feature that?ll let users control who can reply to a tweet. Users who are a part
of the test can choose to let everyone reply, only let their followers reply, or
only let mentioned people reply to their tweets. Wait, what!
Last I heard, Twitter wasaiming [https://about.twitter.com/en_us/advocacy.html]
to be a platform that advocated free expression. Limiting replies to tweets
seems to be a step that takes away the opportunity of a healthy discussion and
I?m not sure if this is the right way ahead.
Twitter has always beenproud
[https://twitter.com/jack/status/969234275420655616?s=20]of being a social media
platform that promoted public conversation. But limiting replies doesn?t seem
like a healthy way to hold an open conversation and it will most definitely
limit resistance to agendas and narratives that can prove to be potentially
worrisome in the longer run.
Image Credit: TwitterMore often than not, replies on Twitter have been
eye-opening and have helped form a more rounded opinion, at least for me. While
the original tweet would show me one side of a coin, digging into replies helped
me see what the other side of the coin was all about. Without replies, there
won?t be a check on narratives and echo chambers will prevail. And did I mention
how it?ll get easier for fake news and misinformation to spread?
Now I agree that limiting replies is one way Twitter probably wants to limit the
hate that?s spewed via comments. But this isn?t a be-all and end-all solution.
Users can still ?Retweet with Comment? on posts that have limited replies. So if
an individual?s intention of limiting replies to a tweet was to stave off
hurtful comments, that could still very much happen.
Also, what?s the point of limiting replies to only people you?ve tagged in the
tweet? Isn?t that why we have direct messages? If there?s a conversation you?d
like to have with a specific group of individuals, it need not be on a public
social platform in the first place. And if you still insist on having a ?closed?
Twitter experience, Twitter already offers the option to ?Protect your tweets?
which only allows people you follow to comment and disables the retweet feature
For someone who joined the platform over 10 years ago, in the hope to connect
and interact with personalities that were otherwise out of his reach, I am
definitely not in the favour of this new feature that?s being tested by Twitter.
Thankfully, this is only a test. Depending on how the community reacts to it,
Twitter may roll back this feature for all users in the future.
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