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  • Meerelle Cruz

Twitter Launches Test of New Unmention Option

Twitter has published an initial live test of its new unmention feature, which will allow users to withdraw themselves from conversations if they no longer feel comfortable being involved, after working on it for the better part of a year.

The feature was previously announced by Twitter in June of last year as part of an initial preview of upcoming tweet controls, which included tools to avoid unwanted @mentions and, if necessary, to prevent anyone from mentioning you for a day at a time. This could help users avoid mass criticism and attacks on the app, as well as the mental stress that can accompany them. Unmentioning, or removing yourself from a discussion, is another way to keep your sanity when tweeting.

Your username will still be displayed in text form in the first tweets in which you participated, but you will no longer be a part of the conversation after unmention is enabled. It might be a useful alternative for avoiding the dreaded Twitter pile-on caused by a misguided tweet, or just to silence topics that are bothering you. It's essentially the same as the 'Remove tag from photo' option for chats, in that it allows users to separate themselves from any direct association with certain Tweet topics, allowing them to better manage their in-app experience.

Unmentioning yourself from a discussion, as seen in this example, will result in:

  • The initial tweet and responses do not include your username.

  • Within the same reply chain, users will not be able to reference you again.

  • You will no longer be alerted when the exchange is updated.

Twitter has now added the ability to mute phrases and persons, allowing you to limit who can respond to your tweets, as well as notifications for potentially objectionable comments. These features will work together to improve the Twitter experience, which has long been a source of worry for the service.

Some people are hesitant to join Twitter debates because they risk being targeted by Twitter's 'Eye of Sauron' for their 15-minutes of wrath, which may be very overwhelming for some.

Twitter has some lofty growth goals, and in order to accomplish them, it will need to recruit new users. If all people see when they log in is other people being attacked and criticized, they are less likely to join in.

When you consider that only ten percent of active users send out 80 percent of all tweets, you can see how this tendency plays out. Many individuals are watching Twitter, but many fewer are ready to participate, at least in part because they are afraid of being judged if they say or do something inappropriate. That's not a favorable situation for both general conversations and Twitter. While these alternatives won't completely remove bad habits from the app, it will give users more control over how they use it.

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