Portrait of angry afro american young man with dreadlocks wearing hawaiian short sleeved shirt and headphone, holding smart phone in hand and shouting at the camera. Studio shot on blue background.

New Anti-Offensive Twitter Feature Makes You Think Twice Before You Tweet, Completely Defeats Point of Twitter

Remember when Twitter was fun? When it was all unedited, running monologues directly from your id, no censorship or second-guessing necessary? Well, that’s all over now.

A new Twitter feature is going to act as a speedbump on the superhighway of the interwebs – and it’s going to ruin whatever sick pleasure the social media platform brought us. When the Twitter bots detect a potentially offensive – or even just plain “mean” – reply tweet, an automatic prompt will pop up, asking you, “Want to review this before Tweeting?” You’ll then have three options: tweet, edit, or delete.

The feature has been tested for the past year, and apparently, it’s doing what it was designed to do. According to Twitter, 34 percent of people edited their tweet reply or decided not to send it. After they had been confronted with the “Are you sure about that?” style pop-up one time, they wrote 11 percent fewer offensive tweets in the future. (The upside: they were less likely to be on the receiving end of nasty replies.)

There are a couple of loopholes, of course. Supposedly the bot can understand “friendly banter” as well as sarcasm (yeah, right). It can also analyze whether you’ve interacted with the user you’re tweeting at before and takes that “relationship” into consideration.

Pre-internet, we all had mothers (or aunts or grandmas) to nag us with the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Now technology is doing it for us. We suppose this is progress (in a wholesome, humanitarian way), and at the same time, it’s like having a hall monitor in the back alley that used to be Twitter.

Cover Photo: @izusek (Getty Images)

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