Twitter users will soon be able to filter out potentially harmful and offensive replies with the help of an automatic reply filter.
The new feature was uncovered by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, who shared a screenshot on Twitter:
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 19, 2022
Twitter advises that the reply filter will do the following:
“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 us identify such replies, so while we’re always improving, we may not get it right all the time.”
Located under the privacy and safety settings, users can turn the reply filter on and off with a toggle switch.
There doesn’t appear to be a way to customize the filter; it’s either on or not.
Twitter admits it may unintentionally filter replies that aren’t harmful, which makes this section of the privacy and safety panel worth checking in case you miss something you wanted to see.
Filtering Does Not Equal Censoring
A key point to note here is that the filtered replies will be visible to all other accounts on Twitter. They’re only filtered out of the stream of responses that appears in the notifications tab.
In other words, Twitter isn’t censoring tweets. It’s unlikely anyone else will know when particular replies get filtered from the user’s’ view who published the initial tweet.
The intention behind this reply filter is to reduce the negativity Twitter users or account managers are exposed to.
Seeing fewer toxic tweets in a day can positively impact a person’s mental health. Not to mention the peace of mind knowing you can check your replies without reading something you wish you hadn’t.
Twitter also offers the option to restrict replies altogether, but it almost defeats the purpose of being on social media if you’re not willing to have an open discourse.
A reply filter is a more passive way of dealing with unwelcome comments.
It’s unknown when this feature will be available for everyone. We’ll publish another update when it officially launches.
Featured Image: mundissima/Shutterstock