#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | How Twitter is taking steps against cyberbullies

In a recent move to try and eliminate some of the tension on the platform, social media site Twitter announced its plans to allow users to choose who can respond to their tweets, or to block replies altogether, BBC News reports.

Previously Twitter users had two options — a public account where anyone could see, like and respond to all of their tweets, or a private account where their tweets were invisible to all except their approved followers.

This new option keeps tweets visible to all for public users, but gives the author more control over the conversation space, according to TechCrunch.

The Next Web details the four new categories for tweets:

  • Global: Open to all replies
  • Group: Open only to people you follow or tag in the tweet or in a response
  • Panel: Open only people tagged in a tweet or response
  • Statement: Not open to reply.

Users expressed concerns particularly about the statement category, The Next Web reports, saying that it could possibly be abused by public figures to prohibit disagreement.

The announcement was made at CES 2020 in Las Vegas by Suzanne Xie, the director of product management at Twitter, according to The Verge. Xie stated that the limited reply system is currently in research and will not be released until later this year.

Almost 60% of teens in the United States have experienced cyberbullying, the Pew Research Center reports. Twitter specifically has received criticism specifically for being a hotbed of controversy, harassment and anger.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey revealed in a Huffington Post interview that he never expected people would turn the platform into a weapon, and that he and his team feel somewhat responsible.

Melania Trump created Be Best to make tackling cyberbullying her priority as First Lady for all Americans.

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