Twitter will ask users to 'reconsider' mean replies they 'might regret later'

·2 min read

Twitter is launching some new prompts it hopes might convince users to think before they tweet.

The platform said Wednesday it's rolling out prompts asking users to "pause and reconsider a potentially harmful or offensive reply before they hit send."

"People come to Twitter to talk about what's happening, and sometimes conversations about things we care about can get intense and people say things in the moment they might regret later," Twitter said.

In an example provided by Twitter, a prompt informs a user that they're about to send a "mean tweet" and that it "might need to be reviewed." They're given the options to edit the tweet to remove the potentially offensive language, delete the tweet, or send it anyway.

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Twitter previously tested these prompts in 2020, and said it's made some improvements based on feedback from the tests. Now, Twitter said it's taking into consideration the "nature of the relationship between the author and replier," keeping in mind that, for example, two accounts that follow and reply to each other probably have a "better understanding of preferred tone of communication." During the early tests, there were sometimes issues with differentiating between possibly offensive tweets and "sarcasm" or "friendly banter," Twitter said.

But Twitter said that during these tests, 34 percent of people who got the prompt decided to revise their reply or not send it, and after getting one prompt, they "composed, on average, 11 percent fewer offensive replies in the future." The "improved" prompts are set to start rolling out Wednesday on Twitter for iOS and Android.

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