Twitter will warn you before you pick a fight online

Twitter has started testing a new feature that will warn users if they are about to engage in a conversation on the platform that could turn ugly.

The company is showing prompts on its Android and iOS apps that give users a heads up if a discussion they are viewing could get heated or intense.

Tapping the prompt will show a message encouraging users to “look out for each other”, with three main points highlighted:

  1. Remember the human — Communicating with respect makes Twitter better.
  2. Facts matter — Checking the facts helps everyone.
  3. Diverse perspectives have value — Discovering new perspectives can strengthen your own.

At the bottom of the prompt is a link that directs the users to Twitter’s rules.

Twitter said the feature was a work in progress as it learns how to better support healthy conversation.

The image below shows the heads up label and prompt.

Twitter has become renowned as a platform where conversations often turn into spats, sometimes called “Twitter wars” or “twars” for short.

At times these altercations can be amusing, but often the conversations degrade into senseless insults.

Many of the debates on sensitive topics are also devoid of facts or contain arguments based on misinformation.

To fight this, Twitter recently also started testing a function that allows users to report “misleading” posts in certain countries.

“We’re assessing if this is an effective approach, so we’re starting small,” the company said.

“We may not take action on and cannot respond to each report in the experiment, but your input will help us identify trends so that we can improve the speed and scale of our broader misinformation work.”

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Twitter will warn you before you pick a fight online