Twitter Is Working on New Controls Over Who Can @Mention You in Their Tweets
What is cancel culture?
Cancel culture or a call-out culture is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those subject to this ostracism are said to have been "canceled".
The expression "cancel culture" has mostly negative connotations and is commonly used in debates on free speech and censorship. ( Source: Wikipedia)
What has Twitter got to do with cancel culture?
Twitter is the home of cancel culture.
You've no doubt had some experiences on the platform where you've been mentioned by people that you'd rather not have been mentioned by, whether that be spammers, former friends/colleagues, incorrect tags, etc.
Twitter is also experimenting with new controls over who can @mention you on the platform, which could help people negative experiences in the app.
The new process would provide a new “Unmention yourself from this conversation” option in the tweet drop-down menu, so you could extricate yourself from any further engagement with the specific exchange.
In addition to this, Twitter's also looking to add a new notification for when you're mentioned by somebody who you don't follow.
Under this process, when you expand a tweet mention from your notifications, there'll be an option on the tweet itself to 'Unmention yourself'.
Twitter's also looking to add new controls for who you allow to mention you, with variable audience limitation selections ('Everyone', 'People you follow' or 'Custom') that you would be able to put in place for 1, 3, or 7 days at a time.
And finally, Twitter's also looking to help people avoid the Cancel Culture pile-on, with a new option that would enable you to stop anyone from mentioning you for a day a time.
This process would provide users with an alert for when their @handle is getting a lot of tweet mentions. Users would then be able to review those mentions and alter their mention settings to restrict those who might be looking to dunk on them with their witty tweets, with an all-encompassing 'Pause all mentions' option at the bottom of the screen.
Basically, nobody wants to be 'cancelled' for a mistaken tweet, and these options could help to avoid that, or at least give users some additional control over how they're mentioned, with the hopes that any angst will die down, and they won't remain the focus of the mob for too long.
If a brand handle, for example, decided to deactivate mentions in the midst of a crisis, would that make it better or worse in the long run? Users will obviously be aware that the brand has switched off @mentions, and that could stoke the fires even more, and make the focus issue into a bigger controversy, that lasts even longer as a result.
Twitter is Still Experimenting
These images are early concept mock-ups, so they may change entirely, or none of these elements might ever get released. But it feels like there is some benefit here.
No doubt, accountability is important, but Twitter's form of accountability can often be disproportionate and damaging as a result.
But in each case, who ultimately decides on what's an adequate response will likely come down to your own opinions and leanings.
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