Twitter's Testing Variety of New Control Options, Such as Auto-Archiving Old Tweets and Hiding Likes
Twitter is developing a number of new features aimed at offering users greater security and control. These tools would give you more capacity over your in-app interactions and content protection, allowing you to avoid being held accountable for outdated opinions you may have posted.
Twitter is considering the additional features, according to Bloomberg, in order to enable users feel more open in the platform without fear of judgment and criticism.
According to Bloomberg, the following features are being considered:
Old tweets can be archived — After a specific length of time, users can archive their old tweets so that they are no longer visible to others. Users will be able to choose a time when the archive would begin, with 30, 60, and 90-day thresholds, as well as hiding tweets after a year, both being evaluated as potential alternatives.
Remove individual accounts as followers — Twitter has been developing an option that would allow users to remove certain profiles from their Follower list without having to utilize the current block and unblock method. This could make avoiding specific users in the app less hostile.
Remove yourself from a conversation — This option, which was also seen in testing last month, would allow users to untag themselves from any conversation and prevent them from being mentioned in that thread again. The feature was formerly known as 'unmention yourself,' but Twitter claims that the revised wording makes the function more clear.
Hiding liked tweets – Likes was always a little perplexing for Twitter users, with some considering them as a form of endorsement and others seeing them as a method to mark items they want to read later or something similar. By hiding your favorite tweets, you can avoid any confusion, while also allowing people to feel more free in what they do on the site without fear of being judged.
Which is the real point of all of these improvements: Twitter wishes to offer users more freedom and openness in how they share and interact on the platform, without worry of being trolled by Twitter mobs or having past comments come back to haunt them, which could causes individuals to be hesitant to post tweets and engage in the comments.
Because it may be an issue. As we've seen in a number of high-profile situations, ill-advised tweets from the past can resurface and be used against you, especially if you end up in a significant, public-facing position.
In 2018 for instance, Film Director James Gunn lost his job as director of the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' following his past Twitter comments, while freshly appointed 'Jeopardy' host Mike Richards was removed following insulting comments that he made in the past, making his position unstable.
The short, sharp style of Twitter, along with real-time response, can be ideal for those spur-of-the-moment replies and comments, but incidents like these emphasize the risks, making more individuals unwilling to post in the app, thus limiting additional tweet interaction.
That's why Twitter tested with ephemeral Fleets as a less committal method to communicate your views in the app, and a scheduled auto-delete option for your tweets would fit in nicely.
In a similar vein, Twitter introduced a new ‘Safety Mode' option this week, which tries to safeguard users from tweet pile-ons and ‘Cancel Culture,' which can make individuals more hesitant to share their ideas on the platform.
In essence, Twitter wants people to comment and engage as much as possible, and factors like these obstruct that. As a result, it's now looking into new methods to make individuals feel more free in what they tweet, all the while providing more ways to avoid becoming hapless victims of abuse and scorn in the platform.
However, is that going to work?
Clearly, archiving tweets makes sense – although the Wayback Machine and other avenues can assist online sleuths in uncovering old comments if they really do want to search for it.
However, it may give users a greater sense of security and freedom – since certainly, some of the idiotic things we tweeted in the past were just that: dumb, ill-informed thoughts that we've now gone past, as part of our development and education, which should be appreciated rather than used as a tool to strike you with.
This is particularly true for younger individuals who have grown up online and have used social media as an outlet throughout their lives. People will have said silly things that they will regret in the future.
In this regard, an auto-archive option would undoubtedly be useful, while additional control over who follows and mentions you, as well as hiding Liked tweets appear to be highly useful and beneficial features.