Twitter's new Reply Filter will help users reduce their exposure to 'potentially unwelcome replies'

Twitter on mobile with silhouetted person

Twitter, possibly more than other social platforms, seems to bring out the very worst in many people. Apparently magnifying the emboldening effect the relative anonymity of posting online brings, users often find that responses to their tweets stray a long way from what most would consider reasonable. Now Twitter is working on a solution.

Spotted in the code of the Twitter app, an upcoming "Reply filter" feature will give users the ability to control the type of response they see. Importantly, the feature does not introduce any new restrictions on what others are able to post as a reply; it just gives users the opportunity to avoid exposing themselves to upsetting responses by filtering them. Think of it like a spam folder for tweet replies. It is something that will be welcome by many different types of user -- those with verified accounts, those with a degree of celebrity, those from certain societal groups, those unwilling to deal with online abuse, and others.

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The feature is still undergoing development, but signs of the work Twitter has done so far were spotted by the ever-investigative Jane Manchun Wong.

She shared details of her findings in a couple of tweets in recent days, giving us a glimpse into the future of Twitter.

The option is currently call Reply Filter, and it gives users the options to "filter potentially unwelcome replies". In settings, the description reads:

Replies to your Tweets that contain potentially harmful or offensive language will be filtered and appear here. Others can still see these replies.

Keep in mind we use technology to help use identify such replies, so while we're always improving, we may not get it right all the time.

It is important to note that the filtering function does not stop someone from posting anything they want in reply to a tweet -- assuming, of course, that it does not violate Twitter's terms of use. What it does means, however is that the author of the original post will not be exposed to content they may not want to see; they can still manually seek it out if they want.

Image credit: rafapress / depositphotos

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