Twitter is working on a new 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 the present option 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.”
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: https://t.co/Ws2rJfa8sl
— Michelle Yasmeen Haq (@thechelleshock) February 28, 2019
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 social media giant was looking to begin testing the new tools publicly “in the coming months.”
Twitter already hides replies automatically when its system picks up on tweets from suspicious or so-called “troll” accounts.
The microblogging site has been trying to clean up its platform amid complaints that its existing model enables abuse and coordinated harassment campaigns.