Earlier this year, Twitter announced intentions to launch a moderation tool that would allow users to hide replies on their tweets. Fast-forward to April when the company said it would release the feature this past summer, a deadline it ultimately missed. Now, months later, the company is back with the official launch of the new tool, one available to all users starting today.
As anyone on Twitter knows, tweet-based conversations can quickly become messy, making it hard to keep track of actual replies amid pointless GIFs, spam messages, trolling and more. Users can’t delete replies to their tweets, but starting today, they finally have the option of hiding them.
The idea is fairly simple: outright deleting tweets would likely raise concerns over censorship, but hiding them merely makes them harder to find. As demonstrated in the video above, hidden tweets are accessible to anyone who takes a moment to tap on a new icon that appears on a tweet.
The user has control over whether or not a tweet is hidden (and they can unhide it at any time using the same process). As examples of its potential use, someone who makes an announcement can hide trolls who are attempting to derail the conversation. Likewise, hiding could be useful if someone publishes a spoiler in a tweet thread or says something unrelated to the conversation.
To hide a tweet, tap on the menu arrow in the upper right corner of the tweet, then choose the new ‘Hide reply’ option on the menu that appears. In addition to hiding the tweet, Twitter will prompt the user to choose whether they would like to block the people who shared the hidden tweet.