You may soon be able to ‘unmention’ yourself from a tweet

8 Apr 2022

Image: © natanaelginting/Stock.adobe.com

After the edit button, Twitter has now revealed another feature it is testing: unmentioning yourself from a conversation.

Twitter is testing a new ‘unmentioning’ feature that allows users to remove themselves from unwanted conversations they’ve been tagged in.

Available only to some users on the web version for now, the unmentioning feature was announced by the Twitter Safety account yesterday (7 April) as a measure to protect a user’s peace of mind and make the platform a safe space.

Future Human

The company tweeted a GIF along with the announcement that demonstrates how the feature works. When selected, the ‘leave this conversation’ option removes the blue hyperlink from a user’s name in a tweet and stops notifications for them – but the text with their username remains.

It is not clear when the feature will be available to all users and on mobile devices, but unmentioning will no doubt be a welcome development for many Twitter users as the company tries to update its safety features to attract and retain people on the platform.

The news comes just after Twitter confirmed it is working on a long-awaited edit feature that will allow users to alter the text of their published tweets. At first, the feature will only be available to users of Twitter Blue, its paid subscription-based service, before being extended to everyone.

Elon Musk, who recently joined the company’s board of directors after becoming one of its biggest shareholders, floated the idea of an edit button earlier this week in a poll, asking his 80m followers if the platform should introduce it.

This came after he pledged to make “significant improvements” to the platform.

Twitter also announced yesterday that a new image accessibility feature it has been trialling to make alt text easier to read is now available to all users globally.

“Over the past month, we fixed bugs and gathered feedback from the limited release group. We’re ready. You’re ready. Let’s describe our images!” the company tweeted.

Twitter has been doubling down on safety features recently based on user feedback. Last September, it started trialling a new Safety Mode feature with a small group of users, which was expanded to Ireland in February.

Safety Mode tries to detect when accounts are sending potentially harmful or insulting tweets. When tweets are picked up by this feature, the user’s account will automatically block the offending account for seven days.

Not all Twitter changes have been welcomed warmly, however. Last month, Twitter rolled back its decision to default to an algorithm-based timeline after receiving pushback from users.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com