While I like to think I’m hip on the latest lingo the youth are using, sometimes I fall a bit short. I’ll admit that “reply guys” is a relatively new term that I’ve only seen pop up recently. And it’s good to see that Mastodon is already taking steps to fix the issue.
For those who may not still know, a “reply guy” is someone who will respond to a post of a relative stranger. If you have been on social media for a while, you may be familiar with these folks. This is not to say that everyone who engages in that activity is a “reply guy”. The term is generally reserved for folks who try to “mansplain”, offer unwanted advice, or gaslight folks, to name a few.
Enter Mastodon, who just released an update to their Android app. They are trying out a new feature that will give gentle reminders to take it easy on your new friend in the Fediverse.
While we’re exploring multiple different avenues to tackle this issue, the idea we’re experimenting with today is simply reminding people when they’re about to respond to a stranger. We also believe that by showing a bit of information about the person you’re about to talk to, we can prevent some awkward situations, such as explaining something to an expert in a given field.”
Mastodon founder and CEO Eugen Rochko
Another thing I’ve noticed on social media is folks responding to old posts. This is odd when nothing is being added of substance. Well, Mastodon is tackling that problem, too. The app will remind users that something they are responding to is over 3 months old. This is to highlight that post may no longer be relevant.
While these features are on Android now, they should be coming to the iOS app soon. If these experiments are successful, we should see them on the web not long after.