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Jul 11, 2019

Twitter users in Canada will soon be able to hide replies to tweets

How Twitter should tackle toxic content in its platform

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Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N) will begin testing a new feature in Canada next week that allows users to hide replies to their tweets.

Users will have the option to hide responses that they consider distracting, irrelevant or offensive, but still will not be able to delete them from their individual threads.

The experiment comes as Twitter explores ways for authors to moderate comments and increase control over their conversations. The social media company, along with firms such as Facebook Inc. and Google’s YouTube, have come under fire in recent years for not doing enough to curb disinformation and hateful content.

The hidden replies are not completely hidden, however: Anyone around the world will be able to view, like, retweet and reply to the hidden content by tapping a small notebook icon on individual threads.

Paul Burns, managing director of Twitter Canada, said that Canada was a “logical” test market for this feature because of the density of conversations across a broad range of topics.

"With this Canadian experiment, we want to learn both how this feature impacts authors who moderate replies and the broader community who reads conversations," Burns said in a statement emailed to BNN Bloomberg.

“We'll be closely monitoring how Canadians are using this feature and what impact its usage has on conversations. The goal is always to create an enhanced experience for people on Twitter while maintaining the openness and transparency that is central to our service." 

While the new feature is being tested in Canada initially, the company currently does not have a  timeline on when, or if, it will be rolled out in other countries.

Twitter currently has about 16 million monthly users in Canada, according to the latest data from Comscore.