Mental Health, Tech

Twitter may warn you about the “vibe” of a discussion

No bad vibes here.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Nov 1, 2021

In further attempts to make the digital platform a more positive space, Twitter is testing prompts that warn you when a conversation has bad vibes. Yes, you heard that right, “bad vibes” can now be detected.


If you’ve ever tweeted something seemingly benign that quickly turned into a tempest of unwanted attention, you know that people on Twitter will argue about anything — it is, after all, the internet’s prime location for high-speed, low-information opinion spewing.


About the new feature

Twitter has been experimenting with ways to reduce the platform’s toxicity, and the latest test gives folks a few hints before they get into an ugly tweet war. The test prompts may soon show up in the Twitter iOS and Android apps.


Through a tweet, the company shared: “Ever want to know the vibe of a conversation before you join in? We’re testing prompts on Android and iOS that give you a heads up if the convo you’re about to enter could get heated or intense. This is a work in progress as we learn how to better support healthy conversation.”



Why now?

The goal, according to the business, is to warn individuals if they’re going to join a “hot or emotional” debate, which on Twitter may be anything from life-threatening health disinformation to guacamole recipes.


Twitter claims the goal is to promote “healthy conversation” on the platform, as it has in the past. The test labels are displayed beneath a tweet and include a warning that conversations like this can be intense. Many users of the app will surely appreciate the heads up, as these threads can often get intense and quickly spiral into digital fights that have no positive outcomes whatsoever.


To take part, it appears that you’ll have to click through a prompt encouraging people to be truthful, open to different points of view, and remember their common humanity. The company claims that it will consider the topic of tweets as well as the number of tweets.


This is not new for the platform, as it has tested other behavior-shaping prompts in the past, including pop-ups that discouraged users from sending hate and harassment in their replies. Targeted pop-ups are clearly becoming a tool that shows promise for slowing and even eradicating some toxic social media patterns, given that people are really capable of being monstrous online, platforms may need to come up with a host of different and creative solutions.


In other news, Twitter recently rolled out bitcoin tipping.


Photo via Twitter