Twitter is testing out prompts on their mobile app that gives you a heads up if the thread you’re about to enter is ‘heated or intense’. This may be in the form of a message saying “Heads up. Conversations like this can be intense” or “Let’s look out for each other”, reminding users to communicate with respect, check the facts, and be open-minded.
The goal is to hopefully let users know the vibe of the conversation, support healthy conversations, and regulate threads that are getting off the rails. Since the announcement, this feature has gotten mixed responses.
Some people like it, citing how we often forget that the person on the other side of the screen is a human too with nuanced thoughts and emotions.
On the flip side, some users aren’t too happy. Of course, there are the usual people who just want an edit button instead, but some users think Twitter is policing conversations too much. I understand where they are coming from, as the prompts do sound like an understanding parent trying to calm down their child.
Regardless of whether people like it or not, Twitter will probably keep the feature if it reduces overall hate and negativity on the platform. If you didn’t know, Twitter has a ‘sentiment analysis’ of every tweet which separates them into positive, neutral, and negative tweets. You can actually see this in action by using negative keywords in a reply and noticing that Twitter hides it at the bottom of the thread automatically.
I think it’s good that Twitter is taking steps towards a more positive environment. Facebook, on the other hand, is having lots of trouble with accusations of inciting hate for profit. So for now, Twitter seems to be one step ahead of the competition.
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