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Twitter tests a ‘mean tweet’ prompt to discourage nasty replies

Twitter is always trying to get people a little bit nicer to each other, which is an unenviable task to say the least. Tensions run high and tolerance is low on the 280-character social network. ‘Twas ever thus. 

Seeking peace is kind of like asking the Targaryens and Lannisters to cease hostilities, gather around the dinner table, break bread, and complement each other on their perfectly normal choices of blood relatives as sexual partners.

Anyway, Jack Dorsey and co. continue to fight against the tide of hatred and malice undeterred. This time they’re nudging people into revising tweets that might be considered mean.

Related: Delete a Twitter account

In a tweet from the Twitter Support account on Tuesday, the firm announced a new experiment for iOS users, which equates to a little cooling off period. Before publishing the tweet, the company scans it for potentially harmful language and asks users if they really want to be that much of a d***. In so many words.

The company wrote: “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.”

Once again the feature stops short of allowing users to edit their tweets, which has long been demanded by large portions of the user base. You sense Twitter would exhaust all other possibilities before allowing tweet editing, and it’s easy to see why.


Tweets exist as historical records of statements, for better or worse. Although it isn’t always fair to judge people completely on a tweet (attitudes, minds and moods change over time), they do enable public figures to be held to account for statements they’ve made on the record. Trump is bad enough for denying he said things on video without giving the option to edit tweets too, y’know?

What do you think? Should Twitter add an edit button? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter. 

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