Twitter’s new hide reply tool lets you publicly ignore comments

Twitter users can now hide replies, without going as far as removing them from the platform entirely. After testing the tool earlier this year, Twitter announced (via tweet, of course) that users can now hide replies. The option begins rolling out on Thursday, November 21, after previous tests in the United States, Japan, and Canada.

The hide reply tool is meant to put some replies out of the spotlight without deleting them entirely — after all, as soon as networks launch more options for users to control content, critics cry censorship. The hidden replies are no longer directly under the tweet, but can still be viewed inside a dedicated section housing such replies, if users actually make the effort to go look for them.

To hide a reply on your own tweet, click on the arrow icon in the upper right corner of the reply. From the pop-up, choose Hide reply. A second pop up asks if you also want to block that user. Replies can also be unhidden at any time using the same arrow icon.

Once a tweet has hidden replies, an icon appears in the lower right corner of the tweet. Users — not just the owner of the original tweet — can click on the icon to see hidden tweets. While that means those replies are still accessible, hidden replies are less front-and-center. Twitter says users are not notified when replies are hidden.

In testing, Twitter said that most of the hidden replies were irrelevant, abusive, or unclear. The update gives users another option to control replies without blocking a user from all interactions, or muting a user, which only prevents you (and not other users) from seeing that reply. Reporting a reply is another option, but the reply is only deleted if Twitter terms were violated.

While the tool isn’t going to automatically hide all the replies from a user that’s consistently spamming or harassing you, the update allows you to individually tuck away a reply. Users can still reply to a hidden reply, but that original reply won’t be shown in the news feed. Instead, the second reply will appear under a notice that says the tweet is unavailable. 

The new hidden reply tool is rolling out beginning Thursday.