An ‘original tweeter’ icon is being tested by Twitter to simplify determination of beginning of a thread by people. This is most recent attempt by the company to curb abuse. The icon was secretly made available on Wednesday to certain users so that imitation accounts can be stopped from commandeering conversations in threads. The gray icon is located below handle of original tweeter in a tweet. This might be the start to distinguishing accounts imitating popular ones, like Kim Kardashian or Elon Musk. Sara Haider said in an email that their newest feature can highlight relevant replies in a sea of replies and threads.
Twitter launched this design update with the intent of spreading and promoting ‘conversational health’ on their platform in spite of continued harassment and rampant posting and spreading of misinformation on their platform. Earlier attempts by Twitter to tackle these problems and prioritizing healthy conversation include hiding of irrelevant or low quality replies and purging fake accounts and bots that can be utilized as instruments of harassment or amplification of false news. These changes are being made while many power users and journalists are re-evaluating their Twitter habits.
New York Times op-ed columnist, Farhad Manjoo, with 172,000 Twitter followers wrote in a recent column that it might be time to take some time off. On Wednesday he wrote that all journalists must disengage from Twitter’s daily rhythms and take a step back. He even referred to the social media platform as the ‘most damaging social network.’ The earnings for fiscal year of 2018 will be reported by Twitter on February 7. It is under strain and pressure as it has to prove to Wall Street that it is making progress in adding users and cleaning up its site. In the previous quarter, 326 million monthly active users were reported by Twitter, which did not match the expectations of 330 million. The stagnant growth in number of users was attributed to ongoing purge of fake accounts and bots by the social network.