Twitter has announced that it is rolling out a new feature that allows Twitter users to hide replies made to their tweets. The new feature, which is being rolled out in the U.S. and Japan following extensive testing in Canada, is part of the network’s moves to help stop the spread of online hate.

Twitter, via a blog post, said it is adding the new “Hide reply” option to the set of normal options (which includes hide, mute and follow) Twitter users have in response to replies made to their tweets. Clicking on “hide reply” will hide the reply from everyone, unless a brave Twitter user clicks on an icon that reveals the tweets that were hidden.

It’s worth noting that the Twitter user who posted the original tweet can hide replies. Those who replied to the original tweet will not be able to hide them, although they will be able to see hidden replies by clicking on the aforementioned icon.

TechCrunch noted that this feature, which is the latest of Twitter’s efforts to help tame online vitriol, “puts people back in control of a conversation they’ve started” by allowing them to hide replies that would otherwise turn the direction of the conversation aside by making inappropriate remarks, causing drama, or by bullying the Twitter user who made the original tweet.

Twitter proudly stated that based on their initial testing in Canada, the feature brings about “positive and heartening results.” The social network said the feature helped improve online conversations, helped deter users from making irrelevant, abusive or unintelligible replies, and caused a percentage of Twitter users, who were surveyed,  to reconsider how they will interact with other Twitter users.

The Verge noted, however, that since users will be the ones hiding the replies, the success of the feature depends largely on Twitter users themselves. Erring Twitter users can simply hide replies that oppose their views (even if correct), or hide corrections to their erroneous tweets.

Nevertheless, Twitter still considers the feature as a “test” since the company is still evaluating how it will affect interactions among users.

The hacking of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's account raised fresh concerns over misinformation on social media Twitter is rolling out the new "hide reply" feature in the US and Japan. Photo: AFP / Alastair Pike