Tech

Twitter is working on a feature that lets you hide replies to your tweets

Key Points
  • The feature gives a user a "Hide Tweet" option to hide replies from other users, instead of blocking or muting them.
  • Other users would then be able to click a "View Hidden Tweets" tool to look at the concealed tweets.
  • Twitter's senior product manager says the new tools will be tested publicly "in the coming months."
In this photo illustration the Twitter logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen displaying Twitter logos.
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Twitter is developing a feature that would let users hide replies to their tweets.

The new feature, first uncovered by coder Jane Manchun Wong, gives a user a "Hide Tweet" option to hide replies from other users, instead of blocking or muting them.

Other users would then be able to click a "View Hidden Tweets" tool to look at the concealed tweets.

Michelle Yasmeen Haq, senior product manager at Twitter, confirmed that the "Hide Tweet" and "View Hidden Tweets" controls were in development, as part of its drive to promote "healthy" conversations on the platform.

"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," she said in a tweet late Thursday.

"Block and mute only change the experience of the blocker, and report only works for the content that violates our policies."

Commenters raised concerns that the new feature could be abused, noting it could shut down a debate or prevent people from holding politicians on the platform to account.

But Wong said the move appeared to be about "moderation," while Twitter's Haq noted that it would let users "notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with."

Haq said the microblogging site was looking to begin testing the new tools publicly "in the coming months."

A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the company was actively working on the feature. It is one of a number of solutions in development.

Twitter already hides replies automatically when its system picks up on tweets from suspicious or so-called "troll" accounts. The firm has been trying to clean up its platform amid complaints that its existing model enables abuse and coordinated harassment campaigns.

The social network has also gotten flak for its clunky conversation thread format. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently admitted that the model of users commenting back and forth was "hard," following a Twitter "interview" with Recode Editor Kara Swisher.

"This thread was hard," Dorsey said following his conversation with Swisher. "But we got to learn a ton to fix it. Need to make this feel a lot more cohesive and easier to follow."

Dorsey recently teased another feature he said the company was "looking at," which would let users edit their tweets within a five to 30-second window, while still keeping the original version of the post publicly viewable.