Twitter confirmed its plans to introduce a new “Hide Tweet” feature that will let users hide replies to their tweets, The Verge reported.
The feature isn’t up yet, but it can be found in Twitter’s code. According to TechCrunch, the option pops up on a list of choices after you click “share” on a tweet.
It was originally spotted by software unpacker Jane Manchun Wong, who tweeted about it on Thursday. A Twitter spokesperson responded to Wong’s tweets and confirmed that Twitter is, indeed, developing the feature.
Twitter is testing replies moderation. It lets you to hide replies under your tweets, while providing an option to show the hidden replies pic.twitter.com/dE19w4TLtp
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 28, 2019
“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,” Michelle Yasmeen, a senior product manager at Twitter, explained in a thread.
1/8 Thanks to Jane and @MattNavarra for starting the conversation about the this feature we are developing! We wanted to provide a little more context on it. https://t.co/Ws2rJfa8sl
— Michelle Yasmeen Haq (@thechelleshock) February 28, 2019
The feature won’t permanently hide replies, but it does give users a little more control by making them harder to see. This is especially useful on an app where harassment occurs.
In December, Amnesty’s Twitter study highlighted a shocking scale of abuse against women on the site. Black women, in particular, were targeted a lot. According to the study, one in ten tweets mentioning Black women politicians and journalists were abusive or problematic.
This feature doesn’t necessarily confront the abuse, but it does give people the option to not be constantly exposed to it. Plus, they can spare people who may be scrolling through their tweets, too.
“We already see people trying [to] keep their conversations healthy by using block, mute, and report, but these tools don’t always address the issue,” Yasmeen said on Twitter. “Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies.”
The Verge did note that this feature may serve as a “double-edged sword” because it does have the potential to be inappropriately used. Replies to tweets are sometimes a way to hold powerful people accountable, so it’s concerning if they could click a button to make all of that disappear.
It’ll be interesting to see how the tool is implemented and received by people on Twitter.