Twitter could allow you to “detach” yourself from tweets


Twitter is exploring a new way to prevent the kind of “unwanted attention” that often results in harassment. The company is working on tools that, if launched, would allow users to prevent people from mentioning them without the block or mute button.

Described by Twitter product designer Dominic Camozzi as “early concepts,” the features would give Twitter users the ability to “unsubscribe” and control who can tag them in future tweets.

Similar to un-tagging yourself on Facebook, not mentioning would essentially disassociate your id from a tweet and prevent you from being tagged in future replies, according to mockups shared by Camozzi. The feature could also allow you to block specific users from mentioning you in the future without having to outright block their accounts. Another potential iteration would allow you to block any further mention for a set number of days.

The concept is similar to that which allows users to limit responses to their tweets. Like this feature, the ability to ‘disassociate’ could help fight some of the more toxic behaviors that often lead to large-scale harassment on Twitter. For example, in a version previewed by Camozzi, the app might notify you when you start to receive “a lot” of mentions. From there, you can go to your settings and change who may mention or pause them in order to “quickly deal with situations that suddenly got worse”.

The features could give users additional tools to deal with situations where viral tweets lead to widespread harassment. Unlike limiting replies, which must be done before sending a tweet, the “no mention” features can be used after the fact or proactively. The tools might not stop people from saying nasty things, but they could save users from having to go through a mass of toxic responses or manually block or deactivate hundreds of accounts.

Camozzi hasn’t said when, or even if, these features might be available to users, but Twitter is looking for comments on the ideas.

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