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Twitter rolls out its 'hide replies' feature globally

The company tested this feature in the US, Japan and Canada.

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- 01:27
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Twitter headquarters in San Francisco. 

James Martin/CNET

Twitter said Thursday it's rolling out a feature globally that will let users hide replies to their tweets, a move that could help them filter out irrelevant, off topic or hurtful remarks.

The company, which has faced criticism for not doing enough to combat harassment and bullying, has been testing this feature in the US, Japan and Canada. Twitter has been trying to find ways to fuel more positive conversations on the site. At the same time, there are concerns that social media sites are only reinforcing people's opinions and beliefs. 

During the tests, Twitter learned that users hid replies they thought were "irrelevant, off-topic or annoying." The company also found that public figures in politics and journalism weren't using this feature often. About 27% of Canadian users who had their replies hidden said they'd think about their interactions with others in the future, according to the company. About 85% of users who hid replies aren't blocking or muting others. 

To hide a reply, you click on a gray downward arrow on the lower right corner of a tweet and then click on an option that says "Hide reply." Users can also unhide a reply and an icon at the bottom right of a tweet will indicate if any replies have been hidden.

"Everyone should feel safe and comfortable while talking on Twitter. To make this happen, we need to change how conversations work on our service." Suzanne Xie, Twitter's director of product management wrote in a blog post. "Currently, repliers can shift the topic or tone of a discussion and derail what you and your audience want to talk about."

The ability to hide replies will be available on the iPhone, Android, Twitter Lite and the company's desktop site.