After months of teasing changes to their conversation tools, Twitter officially announced major upgrades to how we control replies to our posts. This is good news for people who have been avoiding the microblogging platform because of its reputation for fostering online negativity.
It’s true that some people abandoned their Twitter accounts years ago because they were unable to control unwanted replies. I’m all about free speech, but unrelated, negative replies made it hard to have meaningful conversations with people who wanted to interact with me.
For example, I received everything from replies that encouraged debate and sought clarifications to “You’re an idiot” (negative) and “Buy these sunglasses for $9.99” (unrelated) to my tweets.
“Since last year, we’ve been working to give people more control over their conversations, starting with the ability to hide replies,” Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s director of product management said last week. “We also began trying out new ways to start conversations.”
Now Twitter is testing new settings that let us choose who can reply to our tweets and join in on our conversations.
Read more at https://www.vindy.com/life/lifestyles/2020/05/twitter-expands-on-conversation-tools/ (may encounter paywall).
Dr. Adam C. Earnheardt is professor of communication studies the department of communication at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, USA where he also directs the graduate program in professional communication. He researches and writes about communication and relationships, parenting and sports. He writes a weekly column for The Vindicator and Tribune-Chronicle newspapers on social media and society.