Twitter Ban in Pakistan

Twitter is reportedly working on a new feature which would allow users to hide replies on their tweets.

Yes you have heard it right, the feature is spotted by a software expert, would bring an unprecedented change to the platform and user control. The feature would allow the users to hide replies permanently, the platform tries to discourage bad replies on the platform and remove any unpleasant discussions around the tweets.

Twitter’s Senior Product Manager, tweeted about the feature today and explained the reasons for testing and adding this feature to the platform, she is counting and adding up the reasons in this way;

“1/8 Thanks to Jane and @MattNavarra for starting the conversation about this feature we are developing! We wanted to provide a little more context on it.”

“2/8 We often hear from heavy Tweeters that they want to be able to protect their conversations…”

“3/8 People who start interesting conversations on Twitter are really important to us, and we want to empower them to make the conversations they start as healthy as possible by giving them some control.”

“4/8 We think of conversations as an ecosystem of different groups: authors, repliers, the audience and the platform. We try to balance the experience across all four groups, and we are continuously exploring ways to shift the balance without overcorrecting.”

“5/8 We already see people trying keep their conversations healthy by using block, mute, and report, but these tools don’t always address the issue. Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies.”

“6/8 With this feature, the person who started a conversation could choose to hide replies to their tweets. The hidden replies would be viewable by others through a menu option. It will look a little something like this:”

“7/8 We think the transparency of the hidden replies would allow the community to notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with. We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”

“8/8 In the coming months, we plan to start testing this publicly so stay tuned for more and keep telling us what you think!”

The way she explained the reasons for introducing the feature is quite positive, but giving more control to users could mess it up. Most people, especially heavy weight twitterians know the Twitter’s temperament, twitter users know how to keep their conversations clean and which tweets would bring in more troll and the comments they dislike.

Twitter would lose this temperament if they allow users to control their tweets, there would be less troll, less negative or even no negative comments, no arguments and no disputes at the initial view, however, the users can still check the hidden comments, but what if people started commenting “unhide-your hidden comments?” What if people wish to like or endorse the hidden comments?

What if one comment receives 100 likes and its hidden, and the other comment receives 20 likes and it’s visible? This means the original tweeter is hiding 100 votes against 20 votes. It cannot be a healthy competition or balance in the conversation.

The Verge has also mentioned the move by twitter could serve as a double-edge sword  because replying to comments hold people accountable, it is also evident that twitter receives more replies than likes and re-tweets.

Another scenario

Presumably, if the user hides a comment from his tweet, which has received hundreds of endorsements already which can also be viewed by others, would Twitter still allow others to like, endorse or retweet that comment? If the hidden comment disables all the activities on it then it would definitely become suicidal. Twitter i one-liner is the “platform of reactions” what people think, how people react is the real charm of Twitter, if the censorship is in the hands of users then you cannot get the taste of your own medicine.

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