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Twitter will test auto-emojis to stop you from dunk-tweeting

The experiment is designed to help us retweet more thoughtfully.
Rachel England, @rachel_england
November 8, 2019
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Twitter wants us to be a bit more mindful of the way we use quote tweets, replies and retweets. In a bid to mitigate some of the problems these tools can cause -- pile-ons, ratio, dunking and so on -- it's revealed it's planning a couple of experiments in the coming weeks, designed to help us reflect more carefully on how we use the platform.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Twitter's senior director of product management David Gasca explained the small changes afoot. Firstly, Twitter will add an emoji to a retweet, allowing users to quote-tweet without using the compose field. This, he says, could help put an end to mindless retweeting and give users pause for thought before taking part in a dunk-on.

Secondly, Twitter will automatically suggest people use an emoji in their replies -- heart eyes, for example -- but if you choose a negative emoji, Twitter will ask, "Why do you disagree?" Hopefully, Gasca says, this will encourage considered debate, rather than an out-and-out flame war.

The proposed experiments follow a number of other initiatives designed to bring more balance to the platform. Last week the company announced it was banning political ads (with some exceptions) while Twitter research VP Dantley Davis hinted at a number of features that could arrive next year, including more controls over retweets and removing mentions. Gasca added that the company has "big ambitions" for 2020, noting that, "We're definitely serious about changing how conversations happen on Twitter."

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