A new Twitter feature will warn users that controversial conversations on the platform could become “intense” if they join in and to remember that there’s a human behind every post.
“Ever want to know the vibe of a conversation before you join in? We’re testing prompts on Android and iOS that give you a heads up if the convo you’re about to enter could get heated or intense,” Twitter revealed on Wednesday, explaining that the new feature was an attempt to “better support healthy conversation.”
Ever want to know the vibe of a conversation before you join in? We’re testing prompts on Android and iOS that give you a heads up if the convo you’re about to enter could get heated or intense.
This is a work in progress as we learn how to better support healthy conversation. pic.twitter.com/x6Nsn3HPu1
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 6, 2021
The warnings are seemingly set to display if the site’s algorithms decide that a post appears controversial — and Twitter said that it “may consider the Tweet topic and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier” when deciding how to trigger its notices.
If Twitter does deem a post to be sufficiently controversial, it will advise, “Heads up: Conversations like this can be intense.” The new warnings will also encourage users to “look out for each other” and “remember the human” behind each post, reminding those who feel strongly about a topic that “diverse perspectives have value.”
Twitter is notorious for overly-heated discussions on controversial topics and while some users applauded the site’s initiative, others questioned how useful such a feature could be when nearly every conversation has the potential to turn fiery.
The point was demonstrated by one user who noted that on the internet even a simple post about corn dogs could get intense, to which another user jokingly replied: “Corn dogs suck.”
It’s the internet, a conversation about corn dogs could get intense
— give guns to whales (@bbeepbeeep) October 6, 2021
>Could get heated or intense
Just label them all like that and you ll be right by 90% https://t.co/fgCAphK0cP
— ✯Flash✯ (@flash14j) October 7, 2021
can you people ever just be normal & stop doing weird unnecessary things to your site https://t.co/nxarbarQIs
— F*tl*v*r69 (@Lotad69) October 7, 2021
Others expressed skepticism over whether Twitter would be “capable of assessing the vibe of a conversation,” and argued that if the poster wanted to “know the vibe of a conversation before joining in,” they could just read the conversation so far.
In a follow-up tweet, Twitter admitted that the feature was still in early testing and “we may not get it right every time.”
Twitter has apparently already begun testing the feature, as some users noticed it in action on Thursday, attached to a tweet about Texas’ controversial new abortion law.
It was attached to the bottom of this tweet about the Texas abortion ruling.
Is this new? First time I’ve seen Twitter do this pic.twitter.com/r3OMKig4Zo
— Elizabeth Nolan Brown (@ENBrown) October 7, 2021
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