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Twitter will let users in the US and Japan hide replies to their tweets

It's part of a test that could help make the site less toxic.

Twitter is testing a way to let you hide replies to your tweets. 
Graphic by Pixabay/Illustration by CNET

Twitter users in the US and Japan tired of seeing hurtful or irrelevant remarks on their tweets now have a new tool: hiding replies.

The feature is part of an experiment the social media site is conducting that could help fuel more positive conversations. To hide a reply, you click on a gray downward arrow on the right-hand 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.

"With this test, we want to understand how conversations on Twitter change if the person who starts a conversation can hide replies," Twitter said in a blog post Thursday. 


Twitter has been under pressure to do more to combat abuse and harassment on its platform. The social media site can be a "toxic place" especially for female journalists and politicians, according to a 2018 study by Amnesty International and Element AI. At the same time, even Twitter's CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey has acknowledged that the site can contribute to filter bubbles, reinforcing people's political viewpoints, because the site allows you to follow the accounts you want.

Twitter has already been testing a way to hide replies in Canada and the company said it's seeing promising results. Users mostly have been using the tool to hide replies to tweets that are "irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible." About 27% of users who had their replies hidden said they'd think about their interactions with others in the future, according to the company. 

Twitter said it'll ask users when they hide a reply if they also want to block that account. 

"These are positive and heartening results: The feature helped people have better conversations, and was a useful tool against replies that deterred from the person's original intent," the company said.

Twitter, which stopped reporting monthly active users, currently has 139 million users logging into the site daily who can view ads. About 29 million of those users are in the US.