Last night, Twitter announced a new feature that will allow users on the social media platform to control who can reply to tweets.
The feature will work in a pretty simple way. Before sending out a composed tweet, users will be able to choose who can reply with 3 options available; Everyone, people you follow and only people you mentioned.
The feature is not available to every user just yet and maybe after testing, Twitter will decide not to release it at all.
This hasn’t stopped people from sharing their opinions regarding the feature. Some have celebrated that the feature will finally put an end to people who troll and post uncalled for opinions in response to tweets. On the other end are those who have fears that this will actually reduce engagement on the network.
When I first heard about this feature the first thing that came to mind was “filter bubbles”.
a situation in which an Internet user encounters only information and opinions that conform to and reinforce their own beliefs, caused by algorithms that personalize an individual’s online experience.Definition of filter bubble from the Oxford dictionary
After seeing the arguments made by people welcoming the feature I must admit, both sides have compelling reasons for loving or hating the feature.
Ultimately it’s up to Twitter to determine whether this is something they want to do but they should bear in mind that this is a very slippery slope. The same feature one can use to stop abuse and trolling can be used by governments for instance to make announcements and mute response from the public.