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Friday, November 27, 2020

Twitter Is Testing Prompts Which Would Recommend Users Hide Potentially Offensive Replies

Twitter seems to be experimenting with a new alert prompt that will ask users if they would like to hide any potentially offensive replies on their tweets to avoid any negative interactions or arguments on the platform.

twitter hide replies

As you can see in this example, posted by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, a new pop-up would be added which alerts users to potentially offensive remarks, as detected by Twitter’s system. The pop-up essentially serves as a reminder that you can hide replies, rather than respond, which, in many cases, could be a better approach, as opposed to engaging in a negative discussion that can lead to a longer, more argumentative sequence.

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It would essentially be a circuit-breaker mechanism, designed to stop arguments before they start. If Twitter‘s system can get you to re-think retaliatory comments before you make them, maybe that simple step could be enough to halt any such debate and improve the civility of subsequent Tweet engagement.

Including some minor elements of friction like this looks to be major to Twitter’s renewed move to tackle toxic and aggressive engagements. Back in June, Twitter has also added new prompts that call people to read the articles they aim to share before retweeting in order to limit sharing misinformation. The platform has also updated retweeting and has put the ‘Quote Retweet’ as the default option. These updates happened during the US election campaign in order to get people to better think about why they are sharing certain messages.

twitter quote tweets
Twitter Is Testing Prompts Which Would Recommend Users Hide Potentially Offensive Replies 3

All of these measurements are, as stated above, somehow minor, yet they can be efficient. For instance, Twitter stated that the prompt ‘read before retweeting’ has already lead people to open articles 40% more than they did before the alert after they were asked to open. However, Instagram has also witnessed some positive results following the new warnings on their potentially aggressive and offensive comments on posts.

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This new test may use similar detection measurements to Instagram in determining potentially aggressive terms in replies, and that may help to stop people from saying offensive comments out of anger. There is no word or any potential release but it may be a positive move though.

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