Twitter unveils a controversial option for DMs

The platform is always exploring new features to improve user experience and protect privacy. This, however, is not unanimous.

For many months now, Twitter has been multiplying tools and new features, both to enrich its social network and to protect its users. On this subject in particular, the platform now in the hands of Parag Agrawal has deployed several options, from the archiving of old messages to the strengthening of image rights, and the deployment of Safety mode. The latest, however, makes people cringe.

It was in an official message that Twitter indicated that it was testing a new option: with the aim of “responding directly to the author of a tweet”, the platform currently offers certain iOS users the possibility of sending DMs directly from a tweet. As in Instagram stories for example, it will be possible to reply privately to a publicly posted message. For rights defender Eliza Orlins in particular, the arrival of this option would make users even more vulnerable to harassment. Instead of having to go to your profile to send you a DM, a malicious person would not even have to leave their timeline.

Twitter knows that DM harassment is a problem. The company regularly deploys updates to strengthen the security of Internet users. In 2019 in particular, it had proposed a filter capable of automatically censoring abusive DMs. For its part, the company indicated to The Verge through its spokesperson Charlotte Catania, that the tool “would not change the users current DM settings”. A user can thus decide to keep his mailbox closed, or to reserve it for the people he follows: “We are always exploring ways to make DMs more accessible and useful for Twitter users, and they will always stay in control.”

It remains to be seen whether or not Twitter will decide to formalize this option by implementing it across its entire ecosystem. At the moment, only a few iOS devices have access to it, and there is no indication that the feature will be rolled out globally.

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