Are you frustrated with toxic trolls replying to your posts on Twitter, but don’t want to mute or block the accounts entirely? A new feature in Twitter’s code has been discovered which will give users the option to essentially “hide” replies that users don’t want to see.
The “Hide Tweet” feature functions as an alternative to blocking or muting users, was first discovered by Jane Manchun Wong who displayed screenshots of the new feature in a tweet on Thursday.
“Twitter is testing replies moderation. It lets you to hide replies under your tweets, while providing an option to show the hidden replies,” Wong tweeted.
But what exactly does the “Hide Tweet” function do? It gives Twitter users the option to simply hide replies from other users rather than blocking or muting them entirely. There is also an option of “View Hidden Tweets” where you can view the replies that have been concealed by the user, which seems kind of pointless in my humble opinion.
What’s the point of taking the time to hide certain replies from individual accounts if you’re just going to then click the “View Hidden Tweets” function and scratch the itch to see the hidden replies that you (as a Twitter user) were so bothered by that you chose to put them in a “Hide Tweets” format to begin with? Maybe I’m crazy, but this seems like an odd function to put into play to begin with, let alone one that you can reverse if you feel the urge to read the replies.
Within Wong’s thread, you find Twitter Senior PM Michelle Yasmeen Haq’s own thread explaining how the “Hide Tweet” feature works.
Tweet thread from Michelle Yasmeen Haq:
“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.”
“2/8 We often hear from heavy Tweeters that they want to be able to protect their conversations…”
“3/8 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.”
“4/8 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.”
“5/8 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.”
“6/8 With this feature, the person who started a conversation could choose to hide replies to their tweets. The hidden replies would be viewable by others through a menu option. It will look a little something like this:” (She quote tweeted Wong’s original post with the screenshots in this tweet)
“7/8 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. We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”
“8/8 In the coming months, we plan to start testing this publicly so stay tuned for more and keep telling us what you think!”
Full tweet thread by Haq:
The term “healthy conversations” is one that has always bothered me and one that I believe puts the First Amendment on a slippery slope.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has claimed in the past that there is absolutely no biased censorship being applied to the social media platform, yet under the guise of “healthy conversations,” more and more conservative accounts are being banned from using the site, while the same rule is not being applied to liberal Twitter accounts.
Twitter has already admitted to hiding replies automatically when their algorithm picks up on “troll” accounts or accounts they’ve deemed as “suspicious.”
In addition to the “Hide Tweet” feature, Dorsey played around with the idea on a recent podcast with Joe Rogan of implementing a feature that would allow Twitter users the ability to edit their tweets within a 5-30 second window, while the original (unedited) tweet would still be posted, along with the edits. On the podcast, Dorsey explained that Twitter is basically text messaging, and that once the tweet is sent out, just like with regular text messaging it cannot be edited. He went on to explain that installing an edit feature can take away the magic that makes Twitter so successful, the real-time conversation between users.
Haq said that Twitter will begin testing the new “Hide Tweets” function within the next few months.