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Twitter rolls out “hide replies” feature to make the platform safer

Twitter on Thursday began letting users to hide replies that could be seen as abusive or harassing in the latest effort by the online platform to create a safer environment. 

Suzanne Xie, Head of Product Management, Twitter, said that the move is part of an effort to help users “feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter”. 

According to Twitter, hidden replies can be peeked and engaged with by tapping a gray icon, however they will no longer be active part of the main thread that comes from a tweet. 

Xie pointed out that this allows users to have more control over the conversation, while at the same time allows people to see the entire conversation. 

Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based company tested the option to hide replies to tweets in some countries. The option promised to help facilitate more reasonable online conversations. According to Twitter, the tests showed that it is a useful tool for managing the back and forth exchanges which tweets often inspire. Xie pointed out that hidden tweet were considered mainly “irrelevant, annoying or off-topic”. 

“We’re exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations, and are testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions,” Twitter said. 

The hide-away feature is rolling out globally at twitter.com and in updates to the Twitter mobile app. 

In September, Twitter began letting users hide unwanted direct messages, providing a new tool to curb abuse. When Twitter users receive direct messages from people who they don’t follow, the messages will automatically be sent to a secondary folder. 

To make the platform safer, back in 2016 Twitter had begun allowing users to eliminate or mute notifications based on keywords, phrases or entire conversations that they didn’t want to see.

 

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