Twitter has tested out a new feature, allowing users to hide unwanted responses. "Hide reply" is now available, which hides the comment completely from other uses, making them have to manually click to watch the tweet.
This is in addition to the existing options of blocking specific words, or users. This new tool allows the original tweeter to take more control of any discussion happening as a result of their own tweet.
The feature is so far only to be available in the US and Japan according to the Twitter Blog
So far Twitter points out that their Canadian testing has resulted in the following:
"People mostly hide replies that they think are irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible. Those who used the tool thought it was a helpful way to control what they saw, similar to when keywords are muted".
"We saw that people were more likely to reconsider their interactions when their tweet was hidden: 27% of people who had their tweets hidden said they would reconsider how they interact with others in the future".
"People were concerned hiding someone's reply could be misunderstood and potentially lead to confusion or frustration. As a result, now if you tap to hide a Tweet, we'll check in with you to see if you want to also block that account".
This is a double edged sword, encouraging to more civil discussions, but also allowing censorship over what others state, it can be misused to hide opposing opinions, corrections to the original tweet, and while still possible to see them, it requires manually action from the reader to be aware of the hidden tweets.
Needed order or an attack on free speech? Only time will tell.
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