Twitter confirmed in February that it was testing a new “hide replies” functionality to give users better control of what shows up beneath their tweets. Now, Twitter has given that feature an official release date.

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As first reported by TechCrunch, Twitter will launch its “Hide Replies” feature in June. At first, the functionality will be an “experiment,” with user feedback shaping future developments. Depending on feedback, the feature could be scrapped altogether.

With this feature, a user will be able to hide certain responses to their original tweet. This means that if someone replies to your tweet with vulgar language or an insult, you can hide the reply so other users don’t see it as a response to your initial tweet.

While Instagram and Facebook give posters the ability to delete comments entirely, Twitter’s feature will simply hide them and make them more difficult to access. Users will be able to see hidden replies by choosing the “View Hidden Tweets” option.

Twitter hopes that the “Hide Replies” feature will encourage users to be more thoughtful about what they write, with the thinking being there’s no point in being hateful if the reply can just be hidden by the original poster. Some, however, are likely to view this as Twitter’s way of allowing users to silence opposing opinions or corrections to false information.

In a blog post, Twitter explained that the “Hide Replies” feature is one of several steps it is taking to promote a “healthier Twitter.”

  • We’ll continue to improve our technology to help us review content that breaks our rules faster and before it’s reported, specifically those who Tweet private information, threats, and other types of abuse.
  • We’ll make it easier for people who use Twitter to share specifics when reporting so we can take action faster, especially when it comes to protecting people’s physical safety.
  • Context on Tweets and our enforcement is important in understanding our rules, so we’ll add more notices within Twitter for clarity, such as if a Tweet breaks our rules but remains on the service because the content is in the public interest.
  • We are updating our rules in the next few weeks so they’re shorter, simpler and easier to understand.
  • Starting in June, we’ll be experimenting with ways to give people more control over their conversations by giving them an option to hide replies to their Tweets.

You can read an outline of all of Twitter’s initiatives here.


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