Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Twitter testing feature that ensures nobody will @ you when you say nobody @ me
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Good news for people tired of getting actually’d by accounts with Joker avatars: Twitter is doubling down on its efforts to reduce the impact of online bullying—it began allowing users to hide replies last fall—by letting you customize just who can reply to their posts. The bad news, obviously, is that this likely means the Ratio Era is coming to an end. Somewhere, Howard Schultz is breathing a coffee-scented sigh of relief.

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The Verge reports that the company is testing a new setting that limits the amount of people who can slide into your mentions. The setting will appear on the compose screen, and includes four options: Global, Group, Panel, and Statement. Global is for the bravest among us, while Group opens the gate for those you follow and mention. Panel, on the other hand, is specifically for those mentioned in the tweet. And Statement, as you’ve probably grasped by now, is for those who accompany all hot takes with a “don’t @ me” capper—unless, of course, they’ve been lying to us this whole time and secretly desire the discourse.

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“Getting ratio’d, getting dunked on, the dynamics that happen that we think aren’t as healthy are definitely part of...our thinking about this,” said Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s director of product management, at CES on Wednesday. But what of those who willfully spread misinformation, you ask? Who will ensure they be alerted to their mistruths? Xie suggests this can be achieved through the quote tweet function, though that won’t help any gullible lurkers who stumble across the offending tweet. So, while the function certainly seems capable of protecting people from harassment, it also threatens to isolate users in even smaller bubbles.

Xie admits that this is “something we’re going to be watching really closely as we experiment,” noting that Twitter will be “in the process of doing research on the feature” in the first quarter of the year before launching it later this year.

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Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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