Tessa Dooms, on Saturday 23 November, said Twitter users will now be able to hide replies to tweets, in an effort to make the experience safer and more comfortable.
Dooms explained that the option has its pro’s and con’s. Users are able to drown out the noise by hiding replies that they don’t necessarily want to see but some people would also have the ability to manipulate and augment conversations to their benefit.
Tailored experiences on Twitter
When Twitter initially started, the big thing was the ability to curate your own experience.
People who were overwhelmed by the idea of having different people everywhere, realised that hashtags, trends and who you could follow, meant that they could have different Twitter experiences, tailored to them.
“We’ve heard about things like Entrepreneurship Twitter, Black Twitter, Ratchet Twitter and that means that you can curate your experience better,” said Dooms.
Muddy and messy on Twitter
Due to a rise in influencers and more marketing spaces, there’s a demand for reach. Trying to get more views meant that Twitter augmented itself to make provision for that.
With more views, comes more replies and those people are not necessarily interested in the same things as the next person.
“Things get a bit muddied and messy, so in the middle of a conversation about Jacob Zuma, all of a sudden, people will find themselves looking at something like a forex ad or they will try to talk about something completely unrelated.”
“Due to the fact that they could find you with greater ease, they now have the ability to distract what you are trying to say.”
Here’s how the ‘hide replies’ option will work
According to Dooms, as somebody replies, you will be able to see the reply and hide it on a thread of replies, essentially drowning out any unwanted noise for yourself.
“You see a comment and you don’t like where it’s going or how it has derailed the conversation, you then hide it and other people looking at the profile won’t be able to see that comment,” said Dooms.
They will however be able to see that you have hidden their comment. Twitter is also looking at a possible change, as people could get offended about someone hiding their comments.
Manipulation on the platform
Referring back to the ‘hide replies’ button, Dooms said it’s great but disingenuous.
“Its great but disingenuous for people who have big followings like brands and politicians. It gives them some kind of ability to augment and manipulate conversations and this is a danger.
This can create misinformation. Someone with a particular interest could come onto the platform and steer conversations in any particular direction,” added Dooms.