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Twitter will now let non-followers send DMs to you
Thankfully, the feature is opt-in
The spam is coming.
The spam is coming. (KACPER PEMPEL/Reuters/Corbis)
G

ood news for aspiring rappers, conspiracy theorists, and flirty spam bots with sexy avis: Twitter is currently rolling out a new feature that allows users to send and receive direct messages, or DMs, without having to follow that person back.

Fortunately, the new feature is opt-in, meaning you have to actively consent to receiving DMs by checking a box. You can find it under user settings.

"Generally, you must follow someone before they have the ability to message you," reads the prompt. "If you check this option, any Twitter user that follows you will be able to send you a DM, regardless of whether you decide to follow them."

It's a nice idea, but it could dramatically decrease the signal to noise ratio that makes DMs a private, less busy alternative to tweeting out in the open. That said, I have found myself in awkward situations where the decision to send a DM became a weird game of cat and mouse with someone I wasn't yet following. And who you follow could have real implications, since the list is publicly available — a situation I'm sure pols like Cory Booker and Anthony Weiner are well aware.

Should you decide to opt into the feature, just be careful to not click any sketchy and likely virus-laden links sent to you via Direct Message, even if they do promise you a free $100 iTunes gift card. Especially from @MilfPantherX28. She's a troublemaker, from what I hear.

(HT: The Verge)

Chris Gayomali is the science and technology editor for TheWeek.com. Sometimes he writes about other stuff. His work has also appeared in TIME, Men's JournalEsquire, and The Atlantic.

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