Twitter unveils effort to reduce ‘toxic’ tweets

Twitter said Thursday it is increasing its efforts to combat negativity on the platform by testing a feature that will show users prompts indicating mutual interests shared by them and people to whom they respond on the platform.

In an emailed statement to Mashable, the company confirmed it began testing the feature among roughly 10 percent of Android users who use English as their primary language on the platform.

The prompts will show users topics and mutual followers when then go to respond to individual people on the platform; a screenshot of the test in practice showed a user seeing topics such a “dogs,” “rap,” and “soccer” among the mutual topics listed under a banner that reads “you have things in common.”

“It’s human nature to feel wary when replying to someone you don’t know,” Christine Su, senior product manager for conversations at Twitter, told the news outlet. “In the heat of the moment, people can forget there’s another human behind a Twitter account. By showing what we have in common, we hope to remind people of what connects us as a starting point.”

“We hope this helps encourage thoughtful conversations between strangers on Twitter,” Su continued.

News of the test came a day after Twitter executives also announced that the company would take further steps to remove misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines on the platform. Vaccines for COVID-19 began distribution in the U.S. this week.

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