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Twitter already hides superfluous replies to your tweets, now it’s toying with handing that power to the masses. Software engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who has a knack for discovering what social media apps are building, outed the user moderation feature in a tweet on Thursday. A Twitter senior product manager has since confirmed the function is in development. As shown in screenshots, the update effectively allows users to hide individual responses to their tweets via the menu icon at the top right of a reply. Meanwhile, those reading along can unlock the hidden posts by following the same steps.
Twitter is testing replies moderation. It lets you to hide replies under your tweets, while providing an option to show the hidden replies pic.twitter.com/dE19w4TLtp
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) February 28, 2019
7/8 We think the transparency of the hidden replies would allow the community to notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with. We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.
— Michelle Yasmeen Haq (@thechelleshock) February 28, 2019
Twitter’s Michelle Yasmeen Haq explained the platform’s approach in a thread: “We think the transparency of the hidden replies would allow the community to notice and call out situations where people use the feature to hide content they disagree with. We think this can balance the product experience between the original Tweeter and the audience.”
Had said Twitter will start testing the feature publicly “in the coming months.” It probably helps that it now has a dedicated app to do just that. The fact is not everyone agrees with Twitter’s claims that the health of conversations on its site are improving. And while it’s proactively cracking down on its most barefaced abusers, this upcoming test shows that it’s also relying on users to police their own discussions.