Just days after , its version of Stories, the company had to to fix some bugs. But even in that short amount of time, one group in particular took advantage of the new feature: reply guys.

While this isn’t wholly surprising, as have become just another consequence of being a woman on the internet, it’s still alarming. Instead of just replying to a tweet and possibly getting lost in the ether (or muted, or blocked), Fleet-repliers now end up right in the user’s DMs. 

Some people have already caught onto how . And Rachel E. Greenspan, a reporter for Insider, observed in a tweet, “The reply guys have pivoted to fleet replies at a wild pace.”

Women were already in a “weird” position on Twitter, according to Greenspan. “Posting a picture of yourself [on Twitter] can breed a slew of inappropriate comments in a way that does not happen on Instagram and Facebook, where I have private accounts and really only interact with people I personally know,” she told Mashable.

When she began posting Fleets, Greenspan noticed the same group that replied to tweets was now replying to Fleets. “I ended up receiving messages from the reply guys, which is creepier than seeing their replies on my public Twitter feed,” she said. “I don’t think it’s very smart or safe, considering the way Twitter is used, to have Fleet replies go directly into your messages.”

Greenspan’s not the only person unhappy with Fleet’s messaging feature. Kylie Robinson, a student and journalist at the California State University, Sacramento, put it bluntly: “Fleet reply guys are the fuckin worst.” She told Mashable that “there’s no reason to have a reply feature that can’t be disabled.” 

Robinson keeps her DMs open as a new journalist, and said that her inbox was never “such a hardcore mess” before Fleets. She has around a thousand views on her Fleets, and gets at least 100 replies from reply guys. “Who thought it’d be a good idea to give reply guys another avenue to spam me with emojis?” she asked. “I can’t even use the feature anymore because I don’t want to bomb my inbox.”

“I can’t even use the feature anymore because I don’t want to bomb my inbox.”

Greenspan did note that a couple people said they didn’t realize a Fleet reply would go into her DMs, which further shows the flaws in Twitter’s rollout. Furthermore, messaging isn’t the only avenue for harassment with Fleets. Greenspan’s colleague Palmer Haasch pointed out the , as users can share others’ tweets to Fleets without the original poster getting a notification. 

That doesn’t mean that system is universally horrible. Greenspan said it can be a fun conversation starter, and that she will keep using Fleets. “On the other hand,” she added, “I do not need to be privately messaging older men!”

Twitter appears to be aware of Fleet’s issues, having slowed down its rollout. In a conducted Thursday, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour acknowledged that the Fleet-to-DM system can lead to a barrage of DMs. “We agree, we know it can get overwhelming,” Beykpour said. “We are working on better solutions.”

Unfortunately, however, Beykpour couldn’t promise a quick fix, just that Twitter is working on it. So, we’re stuck with Fleets reply guys for the moment.





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