Until now, any user could reply to any public post on Twitter. Those replies would be visible below the original posting. But things will change.
Twitter is testing a new feature that gives users more control over who can reply to individual tweets. “Reply guys” has become a term for users who incessantly reply to other people’s posts in a bothersome or obsessive manner. The new feature allows users to prohibit entire groups of people from replying to individual tweets. “Unwanted replies make it hard to have meaningful conversations,” Twitter states in an announcement. In fact, there are three possibilies: everyone can reply; only people you follow can reply; only people you mention can reply. People who can’t reply to a tweet can still retweet it, retweet it with a comment, and like it.
Twitter’s designers explains what these new conversation settings are intended for: „Control over who can participate allows for a variety of conversation types, including panel discussions, interviews, and public statements. (...) We want to help people discuss sensitive topics, while feeling safe. We want to help people discuss fascinating topics with experts, public figures, or friends, without interruption.” Twitter is rolling out these settings to a limited number of accounts at first. Some people who sent feedback consider this a sort of „censorship” and appreciated „this is not a smart move.”