Twitter is now testing a new feature that lets users prohibit entire groups of people from replying to individual tweets.

Twitter is actively trying to encourage people to try this feature, unlike other test features Twitter is working on.

“Unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations,” Twitter states in an announcement.

In order to fix this problem, Twitter is giving users the ability to choose who can contribute to a conversation.

Users will have the option as to who can reply to a tweet as they’re composing it.

There are three setting to choose from:

  • Everyone can reply
  • Only people you follow can reply
  • Only people you mention can reply

Other users will be able to view the tweet with the last two settings, but the reply button will be greyed out.

Although they can’t respond to these particular types of tweets, they can still retweet it, retweet it with a comment, as well as like it.

There are many accounts who are testing out this feature, as you can see from the following example:

As you can see, the reply button is greyed out, making it impossible to reply to it.

What is this feature for?

In a thread, one of Twitter’s designers explains what these new conversation settings are intended for:

“In the real world, people have public conversations with friends, experts, and other intentionally chosen groups of people.

Control over who can participate allows for a variety of conversation types, including panel discussions, interviews, and public statements.

With this experiment, we intend to replicate some of this real-world control, but why?

We want to help people discuss sensitive topics, while feeling safe.

We want to help people discuss fascinating topics with experts, public figures, or friends, without interruption.”

Based on early feedback, users don’t share the same enthusiasm for these particular settings.

“Censorship” is a word being thrown around my some folks, saying that this limits replies, spreading misinformation.

This feature is currently in it’s early testing stages. With these types of comments and feedback, this feature probably won’t be around for long.

Right now, Twitter is rolling out this feature to a limited amount of accounts.

It isn’t clear as to who can actually use them or how many people have access to them.

Even then, everybody will be able to see tweets published with these settings.

For more information see Twitter’s official announcement here.

SourceMatt Southern