Erin Shields of Baltimore and Media Justice protests with the activist group Change the Terms Reducing Hate Online outside Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco, Nov. 19. Photo: Philip Pacheco/FP via Getty Images

Twitter announced in a new blog post that it will allow global users to hide replies to their tweets in an effort to help people "feel safe and comfortable" on the platform.

The big picture: This isn't the social media company's first attempt to curb harassment and encourage online civility, but it is the first push to give users control over the tone and topic of a Twitter thread before it is derailed by irrelevant, insulting or unnecessarily unpleasant commentary.

But, but, but: "Hide Replies has been one of Twitter's more controversial features to date," per TechCrunch. The new feature could silence warranted criticism or dissent, such as fact checks.

How it works: Users can hide replies to posts, but the comments will not be deleted. Other users can see the buried replies by tapping a grey icon that will appear directly on the tweets.

What they're saying: Suzanne Xie, director of product management for Twitter, said, "To give you more control over the conversations you start, we tested the option for you to hide replies to your Tweets."

  • Xie added that some users involved in the test questioned how politicians and public figures would use the update. She said so far they have not hidden replies often.

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Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Ina Fried, author of Login
4 hours ago - Technology

Facebook removes Trump ads tying refugees to COVID-19

Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Facebook said Wednesday that it was removing a series of ads from President Trump's campaign that linked American acceptance of refugees with increased coronavirus risk, a connection Facebook says is without merit.

Why it matters: The ads were pulled after they received thousands of impressions and are a sign that the Trump campaign continues to test the limits of social media rules on false information.