Twitter has been hiding replies from what it deems to be suspect or troll accounts for a little while now.
It’s a neat feature to help filter out questionable replies (or that reply guy), and now Twitter is looking to expand on it, essentially creating a way to moderate your replies.
As posted by serial feature spotter Jane Manchun Wong, you’ll soon be able to choose whether to hide replies to your tweets. This feature hides replies not just for yourself, but to other people viewing the conversation too.
“Hide tweet” will be accessible in a menu, and it appears you’ll be able to view all the tweets you’ve hidden too.
To make it clear, this doesn’t mean replies you’ve chosen to hide would disappear. If you, or other users want to see these replies, you’ll need to click a button called “show more replies” to view them.
Twitter senior product manager Michelle Yasmeen Haq confirmed the feature in a tweet, and said it would be publicly tested in the coming months. The platform has long tried to improve “conversational health,” given how utterly toxic the place can be.
“People who start interesting conversations on Twitter are really important to us, and we want to empower them to make the conversations they start as healthy as possible by giving them some control,” she wrote.
“We think of conversations as an ecosystem of different groups: authors, repliers, the audience and the platform. We try to balance the experience across all four groups, and we are continuously exploring ways to shift the balance without overcorrecting.
“We already see people trying keep their conversations healthy by using block, mute, and report, but these tools don’t always address the issue. Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies.”
You’re not wrong if you think this feature could be used by powerful figures to silence or obscure undesirable replies, but Haq said Twitter has struck the right balance.
“We think the transparency of the hidden replies would allow the community to notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with,” Haq added. “We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”
Last week, Twitter started taking applications for beta testers of its new features, so you might be able to take a glimpse at this if you sign up.