Tech

[Anti-Troll] Twitter Users Can Now Turn Off Replies, But Why Do Some Complain?

By Jared N. , May 27, 2020 11:34 PM EDT

Last February, social media platform Twitter announced that a feature to moderate replies to their tweets was in development. Twitter users would be allowed to choose who can reply to their tweets. It could be anyone using Twitter, people that they're following, or anyone mentioned in that particular tweet.

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This particular planned change didn't alarm or excite anyone at the time. Twitter has been trying to reduce toxicity and to let its users control what they see on their platform.

No one was sure that the feature would even come to fruition since Twitter worked on numerous features at once. An example being the ability to hide specific replies to your tweets. So, the feature might have been developed gradually over time.

How Was The New Feature Received By People?

More than a year after the announcement, Twitter has enabled the anti-troll feature for a select few users as a test. People online have had mixed reactions towards this new feature.

According to a Redditor who goes by the name zgrizz, they had this to say: "Wow. So you can now say whatever you want without the consequence of seeing what people think of it. That's an improvement - for the worst kinds of people only."

A Twitter user by the name Niall had this to say: "If Twitter wanted to stop abuse, harassment, etc. I think it'd have been much more effective to let people disable quote tweets than replies."

The reply moderation feature is part of a more significant update to Twitter, which will introduce timeline changes. The most popular new feature is that when a user comments on a retweet of one of your tweets, you'll receive a notification that there was a reply to a retweet of your tweet. It sounds confusing, but it isn't confusing once you get the hang of it.

The moderation of replies seems to be the central focus of the update. On social media, the idea of self-moderation isn't something that's brand new. The video-sharing site YouTube has let its users disable comments on their videos for many years.

When it comes to Twitter, however, talking to others is its primary focus. It's what the original purpose of the platform was in the first place.

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Will It Help In The Long Run?

This new self-moderation feature is a significant addition to its users. The many users of the platform have varying reactions, but most think it's a feature that they needed for a while.

It won't wholly exterminate the toxicity of the platform. Still, it can reduce it enough to the point it can be avoided most of the time. 

Before Twitter had its new moderation tools, there were only two methods of dealing with conversations you didn't want to hear. Those two methods included locking your account so non-followers couldn't interact with you or deleting the thread that garnered unwanted attention.

The moderation of replies will change how Twitter interactions feel in some way. When someone can hide replies from people, it may pave the path for misinformation or mob mentality. Someone famous might only let people that agree with them to reply, which reinforces their thoughts.

Whether it's good or bad, the new feature can still help some people avoid others harassing them. Fans of different things harass each other, so this anti-troll feature can at least help them. 

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