Twitter's New Red Flag: You Really Want to Tweet That?

Experiment will ask users if they actually want to put up replies with profanity, slurs
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2020 2:03 PM CDT
Twitter Tests New Warning System on Vulgar Tweets
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Chainarong Prasertthai)

If you've ever tweeted something inflammatory at someone and later lamented, "Maybe I shouldn't have written that," Twitter is testing a feature it hopes might prevent that after-the-fact remorse. Per Bloomberg, the social media giant is conducting what it calls a "limited experiment" that issues a warning when users reply to someone else's post using profanity, slurs, or epithets. The prompt, which is available only on iOS at the moment, will "[give] you the option to revise your reply before it's published if it uses language that could be harmful," the company says. Users can choose to ignore the warning and still publish their reply, and there's no edit feature once the reply has been posted.

The Verge notes this isn't an original idea among social media platforms: Posts on Facebook that seem questionable get a warning that says the post "looks similar to others that have been reported." Instagram, meanwhile, has had a warning system on its comments since last summer. How Twitter will determine what constitutes language that deserves a red flag hasn't been spelled out, though the Verge points out the site's "hateful conduct policy" and general rules as possible starting points; they list abuse, harassment, and threats of violence as no-nos. Engadget notes Twitter is also testing another new feature: a new look for threaded conversations, which will allow users to more easily see exactly who's talking to whom in posts that get multiple replies. (More Twitter stories.)

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