After developing the option for the best part of the last year, Twitter is now giving all users the capacity to ‘unmention’ themselves from a Twitter chat, which enables users to deactivate their profile links within conversations that they no longer feel comfortable taking part in.
As you can see in this example, unmentioning yourself from a chat will see that:
- Your username is untagged from the original tweet and replies
- Users won’t be able to mention you again within the same reply chain
- You’ll no longer be notified about updates to the exchange
Your username will still appear, in text form, in the initial tweets that you were involved in, but you won’t be an active part of the exchange once unmention is active.
The main focus here is in enabling users to avoid those dreaded Twitter pile-ons, where your tweet or profile becomes the focus of ire for many, many users, very quickly, which can get overwhelming fast.
It can feel like you’re losing control, and being taken out of context – which, on Twitter, you probably are, and as the replies mount up, that can heighten anxiety around how you’re being perceived, who’s seeing these responses, what people are saying about you, etc.
So now, you can detach yourself from any such engagement, and move on from it – like everyone else from Twitter will do within a matter of hours – while it could also come in handy for examples like the one above, where people are calling you an idiot for whatever reason and you just don’t have the head space to engage.
In essence, it’s the same as the ′Remove tag from photo′ option available in various social apps, but for chats instead, which gives users the capability to distance themselves from any direct association with selected Tweet discussions, helping to manage their in-app experience.
Though in application, it may also be seen by some as ignoring critical interactions, and potentially avoiding accountability for your comments. And maybe, in some cases, that will also be true, but the principle here is that users should have the capacity to decide if and how they deal with such in the app.
Twitter has added a range of safety tools like this in recent months, including tweet audience controls, ‘Circles’ for more enclosed tweet discussion, Safety Mode, Communities, and more.
Each of these tools provides more ways for users to manage their in-app experience.
And while they also feel a little foreign to Twitter, which has always been about open conversation, the main point, again, is that they do put more power in the hands of users, which could help to improve people’s experiences.