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article imageTwitter introduces a tag to identify the initiator of a thread

By Ken Hanly     Jan 24, 2019 in Internet
Twitter has begun to test a new tag that will make it easier for users to see who started a thread and find posts from the original tweeter within the thread.
The tag may also be an aid in lessening some abuses on the platform by distinguishing accounts that are masquerading as other tweeters.
The use of the tag is experimental for now
To start the experiment only a small percentage of iOS and Android users will see the tag. Twitter claimed that its purpose is to help the public conversation. The tag will add more context to threads by calling attention to the original tweeter and his or her replies according to Sara Haider, Twitter's director of Product Management.
The tag would help in situations such as where Elon Musk makes a statement followed by replies which have his name but are false copies. These will not be identified as by the original tweeter and so readers will know which tweets are from Musk. Fake celebrity accounts are often used for scams as shown on the appended video.
The tag is a small but useful change
The tag will just help users ensure who initiated a specific threat. This is a good start. As Twitter verifies more accounts yet still allows users to change their name and photos, the tag could prevent some imitation issues. At least the feature will allow users to easily distinguish who initiated the thread.
The tag consists of a gray "original tweeter" label below the name of the user starting the thread.
A recent article in Verge notes of of the tag: "While this likely won’t have a drastic effect on most Twitter users’ day-to-day experience on the site, it should be helpful for communications with larger personalities. Parody accounts and scammers with similar names and photos tend to gum up the comments of high-profile users, which can make it tough to decipher a genuine response from a troll trying to scam Bitcoin."
It remains to be seen if Twitter will roll out the new tags to more users or if the present design of the tag will remain. However, the tag shows that Twitter is at least trying to address the issue of clarity.
While the change is tiny, Twitter has more drastic test plans which will introduce changes such as color-coded replies, that give users more evident interface cues that will give them more insight into the threads that they are surfing through. The same test app will introduce such features as replies sorted algorithmically.
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