Twitter could be testing an escape route for users who don’t want to be part of a thread. On Friday, writer and researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted an apparent screenshot of a new “leave this conversation” feature. As mentioned in the screenshot, the feature would untag your username tag from a Twitter conversation, prevent people from mentioning you in the conversation again, and prevent you from receiving notifications about it. (You will be still able to see the thread).
The feature looks different from “mute this conversation,” an existing option that turns off notifications for a thread in which you’re mentioned. As per a follow-up tweet, leaving the conversation will cause your Twitter handle to appear as plain text in the tweet where they are mentioned, rather than the hyperlink someone would typically see if they tapped on their Twitter username. That could add friction that discourages other users from engaging you inside conversations and signals that you’re not interested in participating.
As usual, Twitter declined to confirm whether it is testing the feature in an email to The Verge. But the company has steadily introduced subtle ways to control how other users interact with your account. That includes tweaks that simplify existing options, like forcing a user to unfollow you, as well as limits on replies and notifications when an account with a lot of followers has retweeted you. As a result, this feature would fall on the more dramatic end of the spectrum. Still, it would also add an option that many users might appreciate when tagged in an irritating thread.