Looking for a new way to tweet that’s less likely to come back and bite you in the rear later? Try fleeting. Yes, it’s the temporary tattoo of social media engagement. All the fun, none of the remorse. Well, that’s what Twitter is hoping at least according to Deadline. Fleets are tweets with limited engagement options and an even more limited lifespan, 24 hours.
Brazil is ground zero for testing the new feature. The country boasts the 5th largest number of Twitter users in the world. Why exactly Brazil was chosen over the UK, the US or Japan is unclear. Regardless, if this experiment turns out to be well-liked, we could see it appear in other countries.
Mo Al Adham is the product manager from Twitter’s Brazilian branch. In the company’s blog he put forth this rationale for needing fleets:
“Some people say they feel insecure to Tweet because Tweets are public, permanent and exhibit public engagement counts (likes and Retweets). [Fleets] are a way to have conversations initiated with your fleeting thoughts. We hope that those people who are not usually comfortable with Tweeting use Fleets to talk about the reflections that come to their head.”
Fleets would allow users to express opinions without much recourse. Though other users can see the fleets, they cannot be responded to, liked, or retweeted. In other words, it is a safe space totally devoid of criticism or ridicule. This could be a problem for people who like to spread fake news since it usually takes the truth about 24 hours to catch up. By that time, the fleet is gone with only screencaps left as evidence the offending comment ever existed.
Personally, if you’re going to post on a public platform there should be no safe space. All ideas that are put out on an open forum should be freely available to be rebutted or even debunked.
What do you think? Should people who worry about saying controversial things just stay off of social media? Will this new feature lead to more trolling or even more controversial hot takes? Let us know in the comments.