This is probably the biggest change to how Twitter will work. The company claims that the feature is designed to balance the conversations. The option does not delete any replies from the platform, it only allows users to hide them. Users can expand and choose to view these replies using an extra click. The platform has added this feature to let users stay away from trolling, irrelevant, insulting, and otherwise disagreeable comments.
Twitter believes that it can encourage online civility by letting people know that hateful remarks, and inappropriate behaviour can be hidden from public eyes. This is probably the most controversial feature that Twitter has introduced. The feature was tested in Canada, US, and Japan before introducing it to global users. Some users from the test group were hesitant to hide replies as they were concerned about the backlash from replier.
In an official blog post, Twitter wrote,
“Currently, repliers can shift the topic or tone of a discussion and derail what you and your audience want to talk about. We learned that the feature is a useful new way to manage your conversations.”
This is in line with Twitter’s efforts to improve online well-being of users. The tool can be used to block replies that are spammy and unrelated. The company is working on innovative features to further improve the online well-being of users. Other social networking platforms are working on similar features to make their service less toxic and stressful. Facebook has started testing an option that hides “likes” to improve the mental health of users.