Twitter announced that it will give more control to people over the conversations they start with a new feature that lets them hide replies. The move is part of an effort from the tech giant to stop the spread of hate and vitriol online. The company has been testing the feature in Canada and is now rolling out the feature in US and Japan.
Previously, users could only manage their individual experience of a conversation by muting certain keywords, so they no longer showed up in notifications, or by blocking specific users altogether. They couldn’t change how others engaged in the debate, which proved problematic when lively discussions inevitably began to melt down.
Now, the person who tweeted the original comment gets to decide which replies stay and which are hidden from other users. Clicking on the right-hand menu of a tweet brings up the set of normal options (hide, mute, follow) with “Hide reply” now added to the list. Once selected, the reply will be hidden from other users, though they can still see it by clicking on an icon that brings up all the hidden tweets.
Twitter first announced the feature in February and started testing it in early July. In a new blog post, the company wrote, “We saw that people were more likely to reconsider their interactions when their tweet was hidden.”