Twitter is examining a new feature that lets customers decide who can reply to their twitter posts, the company announced on Wednesday, and some balances are already using it in some interesting brand new ways.
Previously, anybody can reply to anybody on Twitter (as long as their profile wasn’t personal or blocked). But now, if you’re part of the test, you can decide if you would like to allow replies from everyone, just people you follow, or just people you tag — which usually, if you don’t tag anyone, implies that no one can reply at all. Deciding who are able to reply to which tweet on a tweet-by-tweet basis could change how some individuals use the social media platform in substantial ways.
Interviews on Tweets, for example, could be much more streamlined, plus NBC’s Twitter account for Meet the Press has shown an example of how. Meet the particular Press announced an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell and only allowed people this tagged in the tweet to response — which, in this case, was just Mitchell. What followed almost seemed a long tweetstorm, split between 2 accounts.
Limiting how users can interact with reside Twitter interviews does mean that zustande kommend conversations won’t occur as very easily in the replies — you can in theory still quote tweet messages even though those tweets have replies restricted, and conversations could be started this way. Still, the limitation means selection interviews may not feel quite as natural as they sometimes were before.
On the particular plus side, the feature does make interviews much easier to follow, which would have been useful for, say, the messy #KaraJack interview between Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Recode’s Kara Swisher in February 2019. Dorsey had several fun referencing that mess simply by not allowing replies to this tweet:
Limiting replies could also be utilized to help prevent the spread of spoilers for upcoming movies, TV shows, plus video games. On Thursday, for example, Kinky Dog posted screenshots of its upcoming PS4 title The Last of Us Component II, and limited replies to the people it tagged — which was nobody.
The Last of Us Component II, which launches on 06 19th, promises to have a deeply appealing story, and the studio is doing every thing it can on social media to keep that will story under wraps until the online game launches, hence the move to turn off replies. Naughty Dog is also seeking to stop people from sharing spoilers from major leaks of the game that will hit the web in late April; Sony and Naughty Dog disabled YouTube comments on the latest trailer, as well.
There is the potential that will limiting replies could be used a lot more nefariously. If politicians or open public officials post misinformation and don’t allow replies, people wouldn’t have the ability to easily fact-check a tweet within the replies that would appear under the first misinformation, where it could do the the majority of help in correcting the record. Plus interestingly, the ACLU is arguing that open public officials blocking replies would break the First Amendment — President Jesse Trump has yet to make use of the particular feature, but it will surely inspire issue if and when he does.
In the case of misinformation, if the first account isn’t allowing replies to some tweet, users can still use a quotation tweet to comment. It’s not really the most ideal solution — a quotation tweet only appears on your feed, so a fact-check, for example, likely won’t be seen by everybody who saw the original tweet — but it’s still a way to consider in if you aren’t able to straight reply.
Here’s an example of how which could look. However, bear in mind that in this instance, the particular quoted tweet did allow responses because it was posted before Tweets implemented reply blocking.
Twitter tells us this is not correct. No planned feature for confirmation transfer, which is obvious when you consider how much of a disaster it would be. https://t.co/2F7XhFbrra
— Nick Statt (@nickstatt) May 20, 2020
That all said, not really allowing replies can have more easy going uses. I’ll admit I jeered at Dorsey’s tweet that I incorporated earlier, and Lil Nas By continued to prove he is the Twitter all-star with this great prank:
FEELING GENEROUS❤️ DELIVERING EVERYBODY WHO REPLIES TO THIS $100 ❤️❤️
— nope (@LilNasX) May 20, 2020
There are bound to end up being new ideas that emerge a lot more Twitter users get access to reply preventing, and I’m interested to see exactly how people use the feature in innovative ways. But I’m nervous to discover what diabolical things fast food manufacturers will say when they can restrict replies only to each other.