Twitter’s new ‘hide replies’ feature will keep haters at bay — but could also be used to filter out opinions
- Twitter has officially rolled out the ‘hide replies’ feature in Canada and is planning a global roll-out soon.
- The social networking giant claims that the aim of the feature is to enable healthier conversations on its platform.
- There are concerns that the feature could be used to filter out opinions and only show one side of the conversation.
We’re testing a feature to hide replies from conversations. This experience will be available for everyone around t… https://t.co/2oU0h8RE8x— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) 1563385371000
Its new ‘hide replies’ feature doesn’t make the comments disappear but puts behind an icon so that they won’t be readily available.
"They'll be hidden from the main conversation for everyone behind a new icon. As long as it hasn't been deleted and/or is not from an account with protected tweets, everyone can still interact with a hidden reply by clicking the icon to view," explained Twitter.
Intentions aside, there are concerns that that such a feature can also be to shape conversations and redirect opinions.
Friend or foe?
Twitter maintains that the feature has been initiated to propagate healthier conversations on its platform. But, the same feature can be used to hide the views of people who may disagree with a particular post.
So, in a way, it could be an over correction to the problem of haters or trolls, skewing opinions in a different direction even if a disagreement were rational or only mildly rude.
In some cases, the hidden tweet may just be fact checking or calling out misinformation — and wouldn’t show up if a user were choosing to hide the replies.
At a time when users are abandoning social platforms because how comments affect their emotional health, the ‘hide replies’ feature is a step in the right direction but its not with its downfalls.
Currently, the feature is only available to users in Canada but Twitter has stated that it’s planning a global roll out soon.
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