Twitter has revealed plans to allow users control over who can reply to their tweets – and even block responses completely.
The social network is set to launch a test of the new feature early in 2020 before considering a full roll-out, as it looks to make individuals “feel safe and comfortable” using the platform.
People will be given a choice of four conversation participant options:
– Global – allowing anyone to reply to a tweet
– Group – meaning only those the user follows or mentions can reply
– Panel – restricting responses to only those mentioned in the tweet
– Statement – blocking responses from anyone else entirely
While the move could help limit harassment online and cyber-bullying, it has also raised concern that senior political figures could make statements without being subjected to public scrutiny.
“Please do not allow public figures such as Trump, to hide replies to their outrageous statements,” one Twitter user responded on the company’s tweet announcing the plans.
“Democracy demands feedback and reality checks.”
In November, Twitter allowed users globally to hide replies to their tweets that they find abusive or irrelevant.
“Making sure people feel safe and comfortable talking on Twitter is important so we can serve public conversation,” Twitter said in a statement.
“We want to give people more control over the conversations they have on Twitter, for example, who can reply to their Tweets. We will be testing this in early 2020.”