Twitter is poised to make one simple change that will dramatically improve the platform in one fell swoop, although not without raising other questions to address along the way.
Xie says Twitter is adding a new setting for “conversation participants” right on the compose screen. It has four options: “Global, Group, Panel, and Statement.” Global lets anybody reply, Group is for people you follow and mention, Panel is people you specifically mention in the tweet, and Statement simply allows you to post a tweet and receive no replies.
As pointed out in the article, one drawback is the inability to reply to disinformation (or even just misinformation) with corrective facts. Twitter suggests quote-tweets as one potential avenue for that, although readers of the original tweet won’t see those.
Their suggestion of quote-tweets, though, does appear to answer Andy Baio’s question: “I’m curious to see if they extend it to quote-retweets, another major source of harassment.”
ETA: Things that need to be included: a default setting for your account. Things that need to be addressed: tools for countering disinformation/misinformation, since replies might not be turned on for a disinfo/misinfo tweet.
But on that last, bad actor behavior or politician disinfo needs its own solution, somehow. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid giving the harassed and abused populations of Twitter tools they should have had all along.
Also: the fact that bad actors will find other ways to harass and abuse people also shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to give people tools to control some of it.