Twitter announced today that they’ll be turning back on a “feature” that allows any Twitter user to send any other Twitter user a private message. Twitter tested a similar concept in beta in 2013. America tested a similar concept under the name “The Yellow Pages” for a few decades and because of spam and harassment issues it was eventually piecemeal-phased-out.
This move is suspected to be an attempt by the company to compete with services like WhatsApp and Snapchat, who are dominating the private message sector in the way Twitter and Facebook dominate the public conversation. This is good news for Twitter’s investors but basically Ragnarok for it’s user base.
(Back in 2013 the feature was temporarily an “opt-in” experience however for many users once they opted-in they were stuck with those settings for the life of their accounts. The company hasn’t yet announced if the feature will be opt-in this time around.)
Here’s a simple, personalized, guide to what you can expect in your DMs very soon!
Are you a woman?
Dick pics. Thousands of dick pics. You’re probably going to need to do what many people on Xbox Live have to do and just pretend to be a dude so you can actually use the service for anything but guys describing their raging boners to you.
Are you a liberal?
You’re now a communist and people going to send some stuff they found on the Drudge Report and Fox News that’s going to blow your mind. Have you heard of Twitchy? You have now.
Are you a conservative?
I hope you like gore photos and atheist screeds about how horrible your religion is. Have you read this piece about welfare from Salon? Well you’re going to get this link a dozen times.
Are you bullied at school or work?
Guess what? Now you’re bullied at home in a completely private way. Good thing most victims of harassment (especially teens) blame themselves and never report the issues. Not that it would help, thanks to anonymous accounts.
Are you a feminist?
Gore photos. If Gawker Inc.’s bumbling attempts as anonymous comments has taught us anything it’s that 4Chan and other completely awful cabals of immature online political extremists absolutely adore sending people they want to silence photos of traumatizing human gore. The best part is: even when you close your eyes you can’t stop seeing it! Hurray mini-PTSD!
Are you LGBTQIA?
Boy you’re going to get a lot of bible quotes and slurs. Better to just wipe the account or, if you’re a youth, jump right to the suicide that LGBTQIA teens are FOUR TIMES AS LIKELY to resort to because of issues like bullying.
Are you literally anyone on earth?
Spam. So much spam. Penis enlargement pills, fake followers, your chance to win an iPad/be in a Nicki Minaj video/go to Disney World, local singles in your area, etc. I hope you like the junk mail and telemarketers OF THE FUTURE.
Welcome to the future everyone! I hope you’re ready for whatever Twitter has planned next. Hopefully they never phase out the “Cancel Account” button.