Good news, Twitter users. You are about to get more control over which comments are visible or not in your conversations.
The feature had been in testing phase for about a year, but, as of next week, Twitter will make it available for users in Canada.
Basically, when you’re looking at replies to your tweets, you will have the option to select any of them and “hide reply”. Of course, the hidden posts won’t be fully removed from the channel, while anyone still can tap on the gray icon to have access to them.
Twitter’s Michelle Yasmeen Haq and Brittany Forks described the feature in a blog post:
Every day, people start important conversations on Twitter, from #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, to discussions around #NBAFinals or their favorite television shows. These conversations bring people together to debate, learn, and laugh. That said we know that distracting, irrelevant, and offensive replies can derail the discussions that people want to have. We believe people should have some control over the conversations they start.
However, there is some criticism to be mentioned for the current implementation: it gives users the option to conceal important viewpoints or facts, and it still forces people to rush trough hateful content in order to hide replies.
On that note, Haq and Forks highlighted that Twitter is constantly exploring ways to improve the feature: “By testing in one country we want to get feedback and better understand how this tool can improve before it’s available globally.”
Twitter announced the new feature on Thursday, shortly after the social media platform had been down for about an hour.