Twitter is testing a controversial feature to control who can respond to a tweet

Twitter is testing a controversial feature to control who can respond to a tweet


Twitter wants to give more control to its members by allowing them to define who can respond to their tweets. A controversial feature that is accused of promoting the spread of fake news without being able to contradict them.

Anyone can reply to a public tweet on Twitter. A specificity of the social network which allows everyone to express themselves freely, but which also has its limits. Conversation can quickly take a turn for the worse with hateful responses or even harassment. The social network has taken the measure and will test a feature announced a few months ago: limit those who can respond to a tweet.

As on Facebook, the creation of a new publication is accompanied by an option which makes it possible to indicate which accounts are authorized to respond to it. It offers three possibilities. “All”, the option selected by default and which allows all members to respond. “The accounts you follow” to limit responses to your subscriptions, and finally “the people you mention” to specify the list of people authorized to react to your message. As is currently the case, the message and its replies remain viewable by any member who can like and retweet them, but the reply option will be grayed out if it is not available.

Twitter: limiting responses promote the spread of fake news
Twitter says the feature is restricted to a “limited group” of mobile and web users. It is also on trial for an indefinite period, and there is no guarantee that it will be effectively integrated into the service to become accessible to all its members. The social network wants to “give people more opportunities to weigh in the balance while allowing them to control the conversations they start.”

Reading the responses that accompany his announcement on Twitter, the reactions are rather hostile. Some believe that the functionality allows fake news to reach a large audience without anyone being able to contradict them.