Twitter is testing a new feature to let people send a Direct Message (DM) straight from a tweet, and it has not gone well with users who feel the new tool will make them more susceptible to online harassment.
Twitter feels the feature will make it easier to start a conversation from your timeline.
For when you want to reply directly to a Tweet’s author, we’re making it easier to DM them from your timeline to start a conversation,” said the micro-blogging platform.
“Now testing a DM icon on Tweets with some of you on iOS,” it added.
The test, however, has alerted civil servants and public safety experts.
According to New York City public defender Eliza Orlins, offering a shortcut to your DMs could make users even more susceptible to harassment.
“Please don’t do this. One extra step of having to go to someone’s profile to send a DM cuts back on harassment,” she reacted on Twitter.
This is almost never about “starting a conversation” when people are sending unsolicited DMs.
“At least give us a safety feature to not allow this on our tweets,” she added.
According to Twitter, the experiment is not changing the current settings of anyone’s DMs.
“We’re always exploring ways to make DMs more accessible and valuable for people on Twitter, and they will always remain in control: anyone has the ability to close their DMs in their settings,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge.