Missing detail leads to big controversy over Twitter change

The social media company will allow users to accept direct messages from anyone, not just people they follow. It’s an optional feature, but initial reports left that part out.

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In a move that seems to largely be focused on brand managers’ ability to do customer service, Twitter rolled out a new direct-message option Monday. The initial reports of that change left out a crucial detail, which led to a lot of complaints.

Twitterers can check a box in their user options to make it so they can receive direct messages from anyone, not just the people they follow.

Twitter’s blog post about the change makes it quite clear that it’s an opt-in feature. A CNET article about the update didn’t initially spell that out, however. It’s since been updated with the crucial detail, but the original text is still available on some aggregator sites.

As a result, people believed that anyone could send anyone else a direct message, which appeared to be a recipe for rampant harassment, abuse and spam.

When literally every woman I follow thinks a new feature will make the harassment problem worse, twitter miiiiiiiiiight want to reconsider.

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