Twitter Now Lets You Hide Replies in U.S., Canada, Japan

Posted on September 20, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Social with 9 Comments

After testing the feature in Canada, Twitter is now letting users in the U.S. and Japan hide replies to their tweets.

As someone who suffers from a surplus of inane responses to my tweets, I can state definitively that this is the single greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

“Twitter replies moderation lets you hide replies under your tweets, while providing an option to show the hidden replies,” Twitter’s Michelle Yasmeen Haq explained when the feature first went live. “We often hear from heavy Tweeters that they want to be able to protect their conversations. 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 … 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.”

Exactly right.

Amazingly, this feature is controversial in some circles, presumably in those circles that are used to being able to shout down others by hijacking someone else’s conversation. But as Twitter notes, this feature has been used mostly to hide replies that they think are irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible. Which is exactly how it should be used.

I intend to wield this power liberally.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Twitter Now Lets You Hide Replies in U.S., Canada, Japan”

  1. yoshi

    It's strange to see Twitter do something right for once.

  2. Chris_Kez

    It is nice that you can choose to hide a reply, but you still have to see it first. I'd really like to see Twitter get to the heart of the problem and do a better job shutting down the worst offenders and kicking them off the platform. In the real world, if someone repeatedly came into a social club and acted like a total moron, eventually they would not be allowed past the door. But Twitter will not do this because it would cost money and potentially hurt active user numbers. The same can be said about YouTube and Facebook (and on a smaller scale, Xbox Live-- where in-game chat can be absolutely toxic).

  3. navarac

    If you don't want a conversation hi-jacking or don't want random replies - whatever they are - use a more private means of communication. To be fair, sometimes Tweets from family, friends and other people you follow can also be inane.

  4. pixymisa

    But still no edit button.

  5. Thom77

    "Amazingly, this feature is controversial in some circles, presumably in those circles that are used to being able to shout down others by hijacking someone else’s conversation. "


    Or in circles that know this feature is great for people who can't win arguments by the merit of their ideas, and want to control the conversation.


    It will be utilized of those in circles of whiney snowflakes who have been pampered and never told no and cant handle an opinion other than their own.


    Or In circles that want to hide the truth so they can keep spreading their propoganda with impunity.


    This is how is will be truly utilized, the asshole hiding is just a convenient byproduct

  6. BruceR

    I bet certain aides will be eager to use it to smother any criticism or dissent, so that their propaganda remains unscathed.

  7. IanYates82

    I didn't quite understand until half way through..


    The hidden flag is something you as the original poster control but it does the hiding for *everyone*


    Interesting. I know many threads where this would be useful. It will also be used by political operatives to shoosh those with an alternative view. Those with the differing view could do better by being less vitriolic, no matter who the target.


    For the type of posting you do this is definitely a welcome feature

  8. trevor_chdwck

    This is unfortunate, think of all the mis-informed tweets that will stand without proper criticism due to the individual not wanting to look bad or intentionally desiring to mislead people... A bad day for free speech...

  9. Daekar

    So... This will obviously amplify the echo chamber effect considerably. There should be flag visible on each tweet thread informing the user that replies are being selectively exposed so they know that they're not getting the whole story. This might be better for conversation but it is worse for information as a whole. That said, if I were masochistic enough to subject myself to Twitter I would certainly use this function myself.

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