Categories: MarketingSocialMedia

Twitter Tests Option To Limit Who Can Reply To Tweets

Twitter has announced it is testing ‘new conversation settings’ that will allow users to limit who can reply to their tweets.

Earlier this year before the cancelled CES 2020 show, Twitter had revealed it would begin testing setting changes to limit who could reply to a person’s tweets in a move designed to limit online abuse.

Twitter said that it is looking into the feature, because “unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations.”


The confirmation that Twitter is now actively testing this reply limiting setting came in a blog post by Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s director of product management.

“Twitter is where you go to see and talk about what’s happening,” she wrote. “But sometimes, unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations.”

“Since last year, we’ve been working to give people more control over their conversations starting with the ability to hide replies,” Xie wrote. “We also began trying out new ways to start conversations with casual, fleeting thoughts. And now, we’re testing new settings that let you choose who can reply to your Tweet and join your conversation.”

Xie explained that before you Tweet, you’ll be able to choose who can reply with three options: everyone (standard Twitter, and the default setting), only people you follow, or only people you mention.

It seems that Tweets with the latter two settings will be labelled and the reply icon will be grayed out so that it’s clear for people if they can’t reply.

“People who can’t reply will still be able to view, Retweet, Retweet with Comment, and like these Tweets,” Xie wrote. “For now, only a limited group of people globally on Twitter for iOS, Android, and can Tweet with these settings, but everyone can see these conversations.”

She wrote that this ability is designed to give people control over the conversations they start.

And Twitter is also making it easier to read all conversations around a Tweet with a new layout for replies and more accessible Retweets with comments.

Toxic atmosphere

The move follows other recent attempts by Twitter to ease the toxic atmosphere and comments the microblogging website is unfortunately famous for.

Last week Twitter said that is is testing sending users a prompt, warning them when their tweet reply uses “harmful language”

Co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Twitter Jack Dorsey in April 2019, said he wanted to change the platform and move “away from outrage and mob behaviour and towards productive, healthy conversation.”

One of those measures to stop its platform being used to distort the political landscape for example, saw Twitter in November 2019 ban all political advertising worldwide.

Prior to that in October 2019 Twitter had clarified the rules for banning world leaders using the micro-blogging platform to push their views, after calls for the suspension of President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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