Today, Twitter announced that it was testing out a new feature that lets users hide the replies to their tweets. Currently, this feature is being tested in the US and Japan, although Twitter has said that it will eventually be available across the world.
Starting today, this feature test will be available in Japan and the US.
Now, you can hide replies to your Tweet, so you have more control over your conversations. Want to see all the replies? View hidden replies in the dropdown menu or through a new icon in the original Tweet. https://t.co/bnOmSzCP2f
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 19, 2019
If you’re in the US or Japan, you should have an option to hide a reply to a tweet in the options menu for the tweet. It’s interesting to note that if you hide a tweet, it will also not be visible to other people who see your tweet, at least by default. Other users will instead get an icon that indicates that replies have been hidden, and that lets them see all hidden replies. Additionally, when you hide a tweet, you will also get the option to block the user.
This is not a new feature, as Twitter first tested this feature in July in Canada.
You asked for more control over your conversations, so starting next week we’re testing a new feature in Canada that will let you hide replies to your Tweets.
For transparency, viewers everywhere can see hidden replies by going to a new icon or the dropdown menu. pic.twitter.com/qM8osT7Eah
— Twitter Canada (@TwitterCanada) July 11, 2019
Twitter said that this experiment led to better user experience. Interestingly, 27% of the people whose tweets got hidden said that they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future.
The reaction to this new announcement was mixed. Most people said that this would lead to better user experience on Twitter, while some said that it would lead to increased censorship.
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms have increasingly come under fire for the harassment, abuse and trolling that goes on in these platforms, and for not protecting users from it. Twitter already has other features, like the ability to block users, to mute keywords and users, but it has also been criticized for censoring certain types of content under the garb of preventing abuse. This feature is likely intended to be a “sane middle ground” because tweets aren’t deleted, users aren’t blocked, but they can have the ability to not see replies that are abusive or by trolls.
It is important to note that this feature is just in testing right now. Twitter tests a lot of features, and in some cases may even cancel the feature if the user feedback is not good. Although with the good feedback that it got in Canada, this feature has pretty good chances of being rolled out worldwide.