Twitter, like any other social media platform, has a content moderation problem. The company is now testing new tweet “filter and limit” controls that allow users to block out offensive or harmful replies from their tweets. This would also restrict accounts known for harmful content from individual tweets (via).
Twitter’s Senior Product Designer Paula Barcante gave us a preview of these features. It’s worth pointing out that this is only a concept at the moment, and hasn’t made its way to the platform yet. Twitter is currently taking suggestions from users on the feasibility of the feature.
Twitter is also reportedly working on a ‘downvote’ button on the platform
Barcante explains that Twitter will ask users if they would like to enable these controls that limit tweet replies. Since violating tweets are automatically identified, she acknowledges that it could possibly block some non-violating accounts. To ensure such accounts aren’t unfairly punished, Twitter will apparently allow users to review tweets and accounts that go through the filter.
When the filter is active, an account termed as harmful cannot reply to any of your tweets. Even if the tweet reply goes through, it won’t appear to anyone but the person who wrote it. This is only the first step in what could be a useful privacy feature on the platform. Keeping this in mind, a lot could change by the time this feature makes it to the app.
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, 2021Advertisement
Barcante specified that this is an “early concept that requires testing and iteration,” so we could be some distance away from seeing this feature fully roll out to users. When asked about whether this feature will filter out a single tweet that was flagged as offensive or all tweets from a violating account, Barcante couldn’t provide a specific answer.
Twitter is constantly working on new features in its labs, but not all features make the final cut. A report in July said that the company is working on a ‘downvote’ button for tweets. Twitter clarified that this would not be a “dislike” button. Instead, downvotes will only be visible to Twitter and the user who downvoted the tweet. This would, in theory, allow the platform to turn its users into content moderators.