Twitter Tests New Feature Giving Users ‘Option to Revise’ a Reply That ‘Could Be Harmful’

By Alexander Hall

Instead of arguing with people on Twitter, you may be getting nagged by the platform about your posts and what it suggests “could be harmful.”

“When things get heated, you may say things you don’t mean. To let you rethink a reply, we’re running a limited experiment on iOS with a prompt that gives you the option to revise your reply before it’s published if it uses language that could be harmful,” Twitter Support announced in a May 5 tweet.

Twitter has mulled over making drastic changes to the platform before. In Fall of 2018, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey considered “introducing an edit button to correct errors in tweets, according to the social media platform’s chief executive,” The Telegraph reported.

But Dorsey has since given a more definitive response concerning the addition of an edit button. “During a video Q&A with Wired, Dorsey was asked if there’ll be an edit button for Twitter in 2020. He replies, with a faint smile: ‘The answer is no,’” according to The Verge’s coverage in January 2020.

This latest change, “the option to revise your reply,” however, appears to be playing to a trend popping up on multiple other platforms.

Instagram had experimented with an anti-bullying AI, which the social media company explained is triggered when an Instagram user writes a caption on a post “and our AI detects the caption as potentially offensive.” The commenter “will receive a prompt informing them that their caption is similar to those reported for bullying,” and the commenter will then have the “opportunity” to change the caption before posting it.

“In addition to limiting the reach of bullying, this warning helps educate people on what we don’t allow on Instagram, and when an account may be at risk of breaking our rules,” the Dec. 16, 2020 blog stated.

Business Insider discussed a similar feature with Gmail, which allows users to “unsend” an email using Google Mail’s “Undo” option. Users can toggle how long they have to stop an email in transit between “5, 10, 20, or 30 seconds. The longer you choose, the longer you’ll have to decide if you want to unsend an email after you’ve pressed send.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.