There is a new development in Twitter and on Thursday, November 21, it allowed users to hide replies which they deemed abusive or harassing. This is one another way Twitter is trying to make the platform a more welcoming experience.
Also, this move is part of an effort to help users “feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter,” head of product management Suzanne Xie said in a statement announcing the feature.
All these hidden replies can still be peeked at and engaged with by tapping a gray icon that will appear. However, they will no longer be active parts of the main exchange which earlier sprang out from a Tweet.
“This way, you have more control over the conversations you start, but people can still see the entire conversation,” Xie said.
Twitter had earlier this year introduced the option to hide replies to tweets in some countries, which was an option that promised to help foster more reasonable online conversations. Testing on this feature showed that it is a useful tool for managing the back-and-forth exchanges tweets. During this testing phase, hidden tweets were typically considered “irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying,” Xie said.
“We’re exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations, and are testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions,” Twitter said.
In a separate move back in September, Twitter allowed users hide away unwanted direct messages, by providing a new tool to stymie abuse. As per this, Twitter users who receive direct messages from people they don’t follow on the platform are able to have such missives automatically routed to a secondary folder.
Back in 2016, the platform also allowed users to eliminate, or mute, notifications based on keywords, phrases or entire conversations they are not interested in seeing in the effort to stem abusive comments.