Twitter is considering a number of new features designed to provide more protection and control to users, giving you more capacity to manage in-app interactions and protect your content, to avoid being held accountable for outdated views you may have shared.
As reported by Bloomberg, Twitter is considering new add-ons to make users feel more open in the app, without fear of condemnation and criticism.
Among the features under consideration, according to the Bloomberg report, are:
- Archive old tweets – This option would allow users to archive their old tweets after a certain amount of time so they would no longer see them. Users could manually set the time when the archive will be activated, with Thresholds of 30, 60 and 90 days or hiding tweets throughout the year, tested as potential options.
- Remove individual accounts as followers – This was recently noticed in testing, and Twitter is working on an option that would allow users to remove certain profiles from their followers list, without the need to use instant blocking and unblock a workaround. This could make it a less confrontational way of avoiding certain users in the app.
- Get out of the conversation – Also noticed in testing last month, this option would allow users to separate themselves from any discussion and prevent them from being mentioned again in the subject. The option was originally called ‘don’t mention it’, but Twitter says the updated text better clarifies what the feature is.
- Hide tweets you liked – Likes have always been confusing for Twitter users, some see them as a level of approval, while others use them as a marker of things they want to read later or the like. Hiding your favorite tweets could remove any confusion, while allowing users to feel freer in what they do on the platform, regardless of condemnation.
What’s the real focus of all these updates – Twitter wants to give users more opportunities to feel free and open in the way they share and work on the platform, without fear of being knocked down by the Twitter mafia or having back old comments haunting them, which can cause people to refrain from posting tweets and engaging in comments.
Because that can be a problem. As we’ve seen in various high-profile cases, your past, reckless tweets can haunt you and can be used against you, especially if you end up taking on a prominent role in public.
Film director James Gunn, for example, lost his job as the director of the sequels to “Guardians of the Galaxy” back in 2018 after his old statements on Twitter reappeared, while only recently the newly appointed host of “Endangered” Mike Richards was fired after the insulting remarks he made in the past were discovered, making his position unsustainable.
The short, sharp nature of Twitter, aligned with real-time responses, may be perfect for those awkward, instant responses and comments, but cases like these point to the dangers of such, and it could make more people more hesitant to share the app, which could limit further engagement of tweets.
That’s why Twitter has tried ephemeral fleets as a less binding way to share your thoughts in the app, and the option to automatically delete over time for your tweets would also align with that.
Similarly, Twitter added a new “Safe Mode” option this week that aims to offer a level of protection against tweeting and “Cancel Culture,” which can also cause people to hesitate to share their thoughts in the app.
In essence, Twitter wants users to comment and engage as much as possible, and elements like these are an obstacle to that, so it is now exploring new ways to help users feel freer in what they tweet, and give people more ways to avoid more negative elements and end up with unintentional targets of abuse and contempt in the app.
Will it work?
Surely archiving tweets makes sense – although there is always a Wayback Machine and other resources to help cybercriminals discover old comments, if they really want to take a look.
But it could provide another level of security for users and a better sense of freedom – because yes, some of the stupid things we’ve tweeted over the years will be just that; the stupid, ill-informed opinions we have now gone through, as part of our evolution and education, that really should be praised, not used as a bat to defeat you.
This is especially true for younger people, who grew up on the Internet and spent their growing up through social media as a way out. People will post stupid things, which, in retrospect, they would wish they hadn’t.
The automatic archive option would definitely bring benefits in this regard, while greater control over who follows and mentions you and removing liked tweets from view also seems to be potentially useful, useful considerations.
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