I woke up today to find that Twitter has decided to break itself and started to censor what it shows me. Before today, when I decided to follow someone, I saw all of their public tweets, all of their replies, no matter to whom they were replying. This was a setting in the system, allowing me to see everything. However, by default, it was turned off. Given that few people never change the default, most people did not use this setting, which could be part of the reason why they never quite get it, why there is such a drop off rate. This means of finding out who is interesting, who is involved in conversations with people you follow, is one of the key features that allows you to enjoy the serendipity of finding new people.
BUt now it’s gone. Removed as an option. The Twitter blog says:
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 now they’re controlling what I can see, they’ve removed the choice. They’re censoring what I can hear. It’s the equivalent of being in a pub with a few friends and a bunch of new people and not hearing any of the conversation between everyone else. I’m not the only one who sees it this way, just search for the hashtag #fixreplies
Twitter, this needs to go back. I make a choice to follow people and I make a choice to follow everything they see. Don’t strip out content, just let me see it all.