Hide Comment Option
Users can hide comments on their posts.
How does this mitigate hate?
In situations where users are being harassed through the comments on their posts giving users tools to hide hateful comments can stop the cycle of harassment and attention.
When to use it?
Platforms that experience network harassment through piling on hateful comments that encourage others to join, should use this pattern to provide users the ability to hide hateful comments that may encourage other users to contribute more hateful comments.
How does it work?
After a comment is hidden, a notification can be shown in place of the post, stating that it has been hidden by the owner.
The comment can be shown if the user clicks to show it, or it can be hidden from anyone except for the owner.
Alternatively, a notification can be shown in place of the hidden comment.
Comments that are hidden should still be available to the account owner so that they have the information for reporting if necessary.
The option for users to hide comments from their posts enables users that are harassed through comments to hide hateful and harassing comments that could trigger negative feelings and outrage, further exacerbating tension between users.
Hiding harassing comments can also reduce network harassment by eliminating comments that could invite other harassers to contribute.
Users could abuse this pattern by hiding any comments that oppose their views in any way, allowing only comments that agree with their opinion.
Users hiding comments from their posts could encourage further harassment, as harassers could attempt to replace all hateful comments that are erased. This could also create an incentive for harassers to comment hateful messages en masse to prevent the ability of users to erase all hateful comments.
Twitter’s Hidden Replies feature allows users to hide replies made on their own posts. These hidden replies remain accessible if users manually select to show hidden replies.
(Image taken from Twitter help area)
Instagram’s Hidden Comments feature allows users to hide comments made on their own posts. These hidden replies remain accessible if users manually select to show hidden comments.
Pardes, Arielle. “Covering Comments Is Instagram’s Newest Anti-Bullying Tool.” Wired, October 6, 2020. https://www.wired.com/story/covering-comments-instagram-newest-anti-bullying-tool/.
Twitter Help Center. “About Replies and Mentions.” Twitter.com. Twitter Help Center, July 17, 2019. https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/mentions-and-replies.