Twitter tests Original Tweeter flair to stop conversation confusion

Eric Abent - Jan 24, 2019, 3:44pm CST
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Twitter tests Original Tweeter flair to stop conversation confusion

If you’ve ever been to Twitter, then you know that one tweet can quickly grow into a confusing mass of posts from both the person who published the original tweet and other users who have decided to add their two cents. Today, Twitter has confirmed that it’s testing a new flair that will identify the original poster in a thread, hopefully cutting back on that confusion when the number of replies grows into the hundreds or even thousands.

The new tag, which appears under the handle of the person who started a thread and simply says “Original Tweeter” is one way Twitter is looking to combat abuse on the platform. Scammers run rampant on Twitter, often times creating profiles that use the likenesses of famous people like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos in order to dupe other users into clicking malicious links.

Obviously, with careful examination, it becomes clear that those imitators are not, in fact, Musk or Gates or Bezos trying to scam people out of money or personal information, but at a glance, it isn’t always so easy to tell. That’s where the Original Tweeter tag comes in: Now when five different Elon Musks reply to you in a thread about a Tesla firmware update, you’ll be able to pick the real one out right away (assuming it was the real one who started the thread in the first place, that is).

Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch that it is indeed testing this feature on a small scale across iOS and Android. “Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation,” said Sara Heider, who serves as Twitter’s director of product management. “As part of this work, we’re exploring adding more context to discussions by highlighting relevant replies – like those from the original Tweeter.”

There’s no word on when this will roll out to more users or how long Twitter expects testing to last. When it comes to stopping abuse on the platform, this is just the latest in a string of steps Twitter has taken, so chances are it won’t be long before we hear what Twitter will try next in its eternal struggle against its most unsavory users. Stay tuned.


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