If you’re tired of the same old reply guys filling up your mentions, you might soon have a better way to deal with them.
Twitter will soon test a new feature that lets users choose to “hide replies” to specific tweets, the company announced. The feature, which was first spotted earlier this year, will be available to Canadian Twitter users next week, according to the company, though all of Twitter will be able to experience the effects of the feature.
With the change, users can opt to “hide” any given reply to one of their tweets. Hiding it doesn’t block the user, or make the tweet disappear into oblivion, but it makes it a lot less visible, obscuring it behind an extra page. Anyone who views the original tweet will need to tap a small icon in the right-hand corner of the tweet in order to bring up replies that have been hidden.
You asked for more control over your conversations, so starting next week we’re testing a new feature in Canada that will let you hide replies to your Tweets.
For transparency, viewers everywhere can see hidden replies by going to a new icon or the dropdown menu. pic.twitter.com/qM8osT7Eah
— Twitter Canada (@TwitterCanada) July 11, 2019
Twitter says the test is meant to address the fact that blocking and muting might not always be enough. That’s because if someone is spamming your mentions with irrelevant ramblings, or just being an annoying reply guy, blocking and muting won’t necessarily prevent others from seeing the same bad tweets. (Twitter automatically hides some replies already.)
Twitter has continually faced complaints about its inability to police its own platform effectively, even when problematic tweets are reported. And while the company is working on changing some of its rules, these updates often take several months to take shape.The ability to hide replies, then, could go a long way toward making people feel like they have more control over their timelines.
On the other hand, it’s not difficult to imagine all kinds of ways the feature could be abused or used to silence debate or feed into conspiracy theories about “shadow banning.” It could also make a good, old-fashioned ratio a lot less amusing.
Twitter says it will be paying close attention to how the test goes over in Canada (and soliciting feedback) before it makes the feature widely available.