Twitter Launches 'Hide Replies' Features, Announces Progress On Making The Platform "Healthier"
Photo Credit: KRAKOW, POLAND - 2018/12/05: Twitter logo is seen on an android mobile phone. (Photo by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Twitter Launches 'Hide Replies' Features, Announces Progress On Making The Platform "Healthier"

Earlier this month, Twitter confirmed that it would release features to control the amount of replies user received on tweets. The company said today that its “hide replies” feature will officially launch in June, giving users more control over their conversations.

The newest announcement comes after a few Twitter updates set to make the company’s user experience more pleasant. Twitter, like many other social media platforms, has been battling an influx of hate speech over the past few years. Twitter has banned dehumanizing speech, suspended hundreds of thousands of robot and abusive accounts and updated its reporting processes to target user violations on its platform.

But some of Twitter’s efforts fall flat. The company said that it would begin labeling tweets from some public figures that break its rules under its public interest clause. Direct threats won’t be tolerated; however, the lines seem to be blurred on the other types of offenses public figures can toy with.

Twitter announced today that it has made progress with some of its other efforts to target hateful and offensive content. The company has been ramping up its technology to proactively enforce and regulate posts that violate its rules. Twitter said that 38 percent of abuse content was taken down through proactive measures this year. Last year, the company did not use automated technology to enforce its rules — it relied on user reports, which not only proved to be time-consuming, but ineffective.

“People who don’t feel safe on Twitter shouldn’t be burdened to report abuse to us,” the company said in a blog post.

This same technology helped the company get rid of more than 9 million bots last year. Twitter did not specify the number of abusive posts that were taken down using proactive methodology, nor did it say how much content the technology missed.

Twitter is also honing in on accounts created by people who’ve previously been suspended from the platform. Since January, Twitter has removed more than 100,000 duplicate accounts created by suspended persons.

“We also know that repeat offenders tweet a disproportionate volume of abusive content which is why we have doubled-down on catching them,” Twitter Product Manager David Gasca said on the platform.

Twitter continues to use some manual processes. The platform created an appeals process for flagged content that allows users to clarify posts directly through the app. Twitter said responses to appeals have become 60 percent faster.

Twitter said that it would continue to build out its proactive technologies and that its “hide replies” feature would be ready over the summer.