In February, Twitter confirmed its plans to launch a feature that would allow users to hide replies that they felt didn’t contribute to a conversation. Today, alongside news of other changes to the reporting process and its documentation, Twitter announced the “Hide Replies” feature is set to launch in June.
Twitter says the feature will be an “experiment” — which means it could be changed or even scrapped, based on user feedback.
The feature is likely to spark some controversy, as it puts the original poster in control of which tweets appear in a conversation thread. This, potentially, could silence dissenting opinions or even fact-checked clarifications. But, on the flip side, it also means that people who enter conversations with plans to troll or make hateful remarks are more likely to see their posts tucked away out of view.
This, Twitter believes, could help encourage people to present their thoughts and opinions in a more polite and less abusive fashion, and shifts the balance of power back to the poster without an overcorrection. (For what it’s worth, Facebook and Instagram give users far more control over their posts, as you can delete trolls’ comments entirely.)