Twitter rolls out ‘Hide Replies’ feature

Twitter began letting users 'hide' tweeted replies that could be seen as abusive or harassing in the latest effort by the online platform to create a more welcoming environment.

The 'hide replies' feature is part of an effort to help users "feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter," head of product management Suzanne Xie said in a statement announcing the feature.

'Hidden replies' can still be peeked at and engaged with by tapping a grey icon that will appear, but they will no longer be active parts of the main exchange that sprang from a tweet, according to Twitter.

"This way, you have more control over the conversations you start, but people can still see the entire conversation," Xie said.

The San Francisco-based company earlier this year introduced the option to hide replies to tweets in some countries, an option that promised to help foster more reasonable online conversations. Testing showed that it is a useful tool for managing the back-and-forth exchanges tweets can inspire, according to Twitter.

During testing, hidden tweets were typically considered "irrelevant, off-topic, or annoying," Xie said.

"We're exploring more options around who can reply to or see specific conversations, and are testing engagement changes to see if these lead to healthier discussions," Twitter said.