Twitter is trying to limit the number of toxic replies to tweets (“replies” in the Twitter dialect) by providing users with tools to be more proactive in preventing them. In the future, these tools may include a feature to filter out potentially offensive responses, as well as a feature to restrict responses from potentially unwanted accounts.
Twitter Senior Product Designer Paula Barcante has posted a preview of these features, which are just concepts for now, to get feedback from users.
Barcante says Twitter will ask you if you want to enable these controls if it detects potentially harmful responses to your tweets. If the reply filter is enabled, Twitter will not show you or anyone else – other than the person who posted the reply – their malicious tweets. If you choose to restrict unwanted accounts, users who have recently violated the rules will not be able to reply to your tweets at all.
We’re exploring new controls called “Filter” and “Limit” that could help you keep potentially harmful content — and people who might create that content — away from your replies. These are early ideas, so we'd love your feedback 👀🧵👇 pic.twitter.com/nInOMQz7WK
— Paula Barcante (@paulabarcante) September 24, 2021
Because the process will be automated, Barcante acknowledges that it may not always be accurate and may end up filtering out even relevant, non-problematic responses. This is why the company is also exploring the possibility of providing the ability to view filtered tweets and restricted accounts. Of course, the final version of the tools may differ significantly from these preliminary versions if they are released.
When asked whether turning on the reply filter would filter all tweets from the account, or only the tweet that the site considered potentially offensive, Barkante has not yet replied. She said that what she showed was only “an early concept that requires testing and iteration,” and that Twitter will provide more details if it decides to launch the tools.