Twitter has announced that it will be “experimenting” with a new feature that will let users hide replies to their tweets starting in June, as noted by TechCrunch. The feature — which will essentially let users moderate conversations in replies to their tweets — was first noted by app researcher Jane Manchun Wong earlier this year.
Assuming the feature is similar to the originally announced version, it would let users collapse replies to their tweets, hiding them from immediate view (although the tweets would still be there, visible to anyone who wishes to manually expand them). There’s a lot of potential good this feature could provide. For example, it could give users the power to hide trolls who seek to derail conversations online.
As my colleague Nick Statt noted when the feature was first revealed earlier this year, giving users more control could lead to some abuse of the feature by hiding replies from users who disagree with it.
“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,” said Michelle Yasmeen Haq, a senior product manager at Twitter to explain the feature back in February. “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.”
Twitter also announced that it would “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,” although the company hasn’t provided too many details as to what those changes will entail.