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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.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."