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Twitter Reverses on Reply Tweak After Backlash

Policy Fugue by Kenneth Corbin (bio)

Tracking the loveless marriage of technology and government

Twitter protest
What Twitter described as a "small settings update" was anything but. Darn near cataclysmic, it seemed.

The popular microblogging site has now said it is implementing changes to bring back the "serendipity" of discovering what the people you follow are saying to the people you don't, which it so egregiously snatched away Tuesday night.

Here's how Twitter's Biz Stone explained the initial change in the company blog:

"Based on usage patterns and feedback, we've learned most people want to see when someone they follow replies to another person they follow -- it's a good way to stay in the loop. However, receiving one-sided fragments via replies sent to folks you don't follow in your timeline is undesirable. Today's update removes this undesirable and confusing option."

So that meant that messages sent by someone you know to someone you don't wouldn't show up in your feed anymore.

The outrage was swift and severe. A day later, the meme "#fixreplies remains at the top of Twitter's trending topics list. Farther down is "#Twitterfail. Both are packed with tweets from users obeying the call to "Retweet this if you disagree w/ twitter's decision to hide replies to people you don't follow." So is the topic, "Twitter's," which sits at No. 2 on the list...

[Continue reading this blog post at Policy Fugue by Kenneth Corbin]