Katie Mack @AstroKatie (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist/cosmologist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes Jul. 08, 2019 1 min read

If Twitter is going to insist on having an algorithm that sometimes turns replies and likes into what are effectively retweets, it would be REALLY helpful to have a way to reply and check a box saying “this reply is definitely not worth pushing to my entire timeline”

It would be nice if I could say to someone “I respectfully disagree with you because of [whatever]” without Twitter projecting that reply out to thousands and thousands of people, some fraction of whom will decide to read it as a call to arms and jump in for a fight

The upshot of this algorithmic choice is that more nasty fights happen and high-follower accounts like and reply much much less. I think the former was probably intentional (“engagement!”) but the latter is a shame.

It will always be easy for people to start fights and pile-ons by quote-tweeting if that’s what floats their boat. But I’m very much not into that sort of thing, and I’d love to be able to opt out of it without just never engaging at all.

You can follow @AstroKatie.


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