17 August 2020
What is Twitter’s new limit replies feature?
Twitter has rolled out a new feature that lets you restrict who can comment and reply to your tweets.
Safety features like this can help prevent people your child doesn’t know from chatting to them and stop them from being sent comments they might find upsetting. Here’s how it works:
Before a user posts a tweet they’ll now be given three options to choose who can reply to it.
Limit your replies with these three options
‘Everyone can reply’
This is Twitter’s default setting meaning anyone who sees your tweet will automatically be able to reply unless you select one of the other options.
‘People you follow’
If you select this option only people who you follow can reply to your tweet.
‘Only people you mention’
Choosing this option means only people or accounts you tag in your tweet can reply. You can tag someone by adding their Twitter handle to a tweet. When a person gets mentioned in a tweet they’ll receive a notification telling them.
Is the feature safe for my child?
It’s important to note that this feature only stops users from replying publicly to a tweet. People are still able to retweet, like and share the comment with other users through direct message.
The feature also relies on other people choosing to turn off replies on the app. As Twitter is often a place where people go to share opinions and news stories some users might still decide to allow comments and replies to their tweets. This means your child could still come across a comment or language they might find upsetting.
We would always recommend that you explore privacy settings with your child and set their account to private so only their friends and followers can see their tweets.
You should also speak with them about what they’re sharing online and get them to think about whether replies always need to be turned on. It’s easy for comments online to be misunderstood, even between friends, and turning off replies could help them have a more positive experience on the app.
Don’t forget to remind them they can always come to you, another trusted adult or speak to a Childline counsellor if they see anything online that worries them.
Check out our full review for more tips on how to keep your child safe on Twitter.