It seems that some services, such as Twitter, WhatsApp and others,have stepped on the accelerator in recent times with regard to the implementation of new functions. Obviously, these must go through a testing phase, in which the responsible companies verify the impact of said innovations, either in order to keep them as they have been launched, make modifications based on experience during the testing phase or , in many cases, discard them if they do not offer the expected result.
Thus, if just a couple of days ago we told you that Twitter was expanding the downvote test to answers, now we know, from a tweet from the social network’s support account, that Twitter is testing a new function that would allow direct messages to be sent to a user directly from their tweet, that is, without the need to access their profile to, once there, proceed to send them the message. In other words, reduce the operation from two steps to one.
And I recognize that this new possibility gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand, everything that makes it easier and faster to use the functions of Twitter or any other service seems fine to me, since it makes it easier to use and, in this case, to interact with others. social network users. In ideal conditions, that is, in those that tell us that social networks are used to communicate, eliminating all possible obstacles for such communication to take place integrates quite well into the concept.
Now, we only have to spend a few minutes on Twitter to confirm that hate and harassment are a vital part of the daily life of this social network. From trolls who insult everything and everyone to people who are even offended by the background color of an image, the fact is that in the end it seems that it is difficult to find a tweet that has received many interactions and that, among them, , none of these characters have made an appearance, most likely generating a discussion that distorts the whole and that, for many, is a brake when it comes to not just posting a tweet, but even entering Twitter.
Facilitating interaction, I’m afraid, can (and probably will) translate into a notable increase in harassment on Twitter. If there are already many people who, after seeing a message they don’t like, take the trouble to go to the profile of the person who posted it, review their posts and send them a hate message, having the direct message option embedded in the same potentially annoying tweet, it will lead to even more “hot” messages being sent.
This feature would seem like a great idea to me in an ideal social network, where there are opposing opinions and discussions to confront them, but not in a network where insults, threats, stalking and other toxic attitudes are the order of the day. And no, I’m not criticizing Twitter for testing new features, I think that’s great, but it should continue to focus on avoiding current levels of toxicity. That, and no other, must be its main task, because that, and no other, is its main threat.