Twitter is looking for input on two new potential features that could give users more control over the tone and quality of replies to their tweets. filter and restrict, as shared by Twitter designer Paula Barcante, would intelligently hide abusive or harmful responses, or prevent repeat offenders from responding at all.
Based on the draft images Barcante shared, Twitter would detect if you’ve received malicious responses and then ask you to enable Filter or Restriction. “If you have Filter enabled, potentially harmful replies to your Tweet will not be shown to you or anyone else,” Barcante writes. With Limit enabled, accounts with a history of offensive or “repetitive, uninvited tweets” would be unable to respond at all.
Twitter’s concept is pretty candid about whether or not to enable Filter or Limit. In the case of filtered tweets, they still appear to the person replying, with added text that says, “This reply is only visible to you.” For accounts with limit enabled, Twitter would display a warning explaining that “reply limit is enabled” with a link for more information.
Since this – wholly hypothetical – process is automated, it will not always be accurate. Barcante notes that Twitter is also considering allowing users to view the tweets that end up in the net of both functions in case the user disagrees with Twitter’s automated decision and wants to correct it.
As far as features Twitter has been experimenting with lately, Filter and Limit certainly sound more useful than, say, Fleets (RIP). It’s easy to imagine that enabling those settings can largely prevent the racist abuse that highly visible users on the platform can experience. Twitter has also looked at other ways to protect the user experience, such as adding the ability to hide old tweets or select who will see a tweet before you send it.
Like many of Twitter’s experiments, these all sound like great ideas; now they must actually be implemented. Barcante did not provide a timeline for when that might happen.