Twitter is testing a new DM feature that everyone seems to hate
“When you want to directly harass a tweet’s author, just press this button,” writes one Twitter user.
Twitter loves to test things on its platform, and its latest test is already ruffling some feathers.
Last week, the company announced it’s testing an iOS feature that lets users DM an author directly from a tweet vs. the DM button on someone’s profile. Twitter says this makes it easier to start a conversation from the timeline, but in reality, it’s something users could easily abuse.
As fast as Twitter sent out that tweet, users immediately met it with some pushback. Most notably, this tweet from public defender Eliza Orlin:
“Please don’t do this. One extra step of having to go to someone’s profile to send a DM cuts back on harassment,” writes Orlin in her reply to the company’s tweet. “This is almost never about ‘starting a conversation,’ when people are sending unsolicited DMs. At least give us a safety feature to not allow this on our tweets.”
Of course, the issue of harassment is undoubtedly present on the platform. But what about those who don’t intend to use it as a harassment tool? There could be some benefits to this feature.
If someone is going to harass someone, what’s the difference between them clicking the DM button from your profile vs. a button on your tweet? Some of it comes down to a matter of convenience. Having the option to instantly respond to a tweet or leave a terrible comment on YouTube takes almost no effort.
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Making them go the extra mile to DM someone can help cut down on harassment on Twitter. Sadly though, many harassers are still going to harass, regardless of where Twitter puts the button.
But when someone wants to harass you, they’re going to tap that one extra tap to DM you anyway.— Darrell as a Service 🛎 Modern Work Mentor (@DarrellaaS) February 6, 2022
I know you know this, that you can set Twitter to allow DM requests from anyone, or only allow from those you follow.
Maybe that feature needs more work. @verge pic.twitter.com/h4hkzIkvbM
As Orlin mentions, at the very least, Twitter could give users an option to disable the DM button from showing up on tweets. And to take it one step further, users can also set their DMs to only allow people they follow to message them.
Again, this is just a test that Twitter is experimenting with – nothing is set in stone. However, the company noted in a statement:
“This particular experiment is not changing the current settings of anyone’s DMs,” a Twitter spokesperson notes in a statement. “We’re always exploring ways to make DMs more accessible and valuable for people on Twitter, and they will always remain in control: anyone has the ability to close their DMs in their settings.”
But the gist of this new test is that many Twitter users are not a fan of it and see it as a tool for harassers. As this Twitter user sums it up: “when you want to directly harrass [sic] a tweet’s author, just press this button.”
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