Twitter and reply deboosting

Erik Strand, 31.07.2022

On January 29th and 30th 2021 I realised that I had been subject to something called reply deboosting on Twitter. ‘Reply deboosting’ means that when one writes a reply to a post on Twitter, the reply is shown only at the bottom of the tread, and one has to click on “Show more replies” in order to see it. I have experienced this to a certain degree before on Twitter, but by the end of January 2021 this was done more consequently. There also exist a stronger degree of reply deboosting. Sometimes when a person writes a reply to a Twitter post, the readers do not only have to click on “Show more replies” in order to see what one has written. The reader even has got to click on “show more replies, including offensive replies”.

In January 2021, I experienced the latter. On Jauary 29, I wrote a replys to something Gunnar Tjomlid (@CiViX) wrote on his Twitter account. One can see a screenshot here. The reply marked by “Vis flere svar, inkludert svar som kan inneholde støtende materiale” (Norwegian for “show more replies, including offensive replies”) on the bottom of the screenshot, is my reply. One can take a look at the entire thread, including my reply, in this screenshot. If one takes a thorough look at the screenshot, one sees that what I wrote, was considered more offensive than the participation of the highly controversial anti islamic group SIAN. I have noe clue if it was the concrete reply from me or replies from me in general that was found offensive.

Another example is even more revealing. In this screenshot one sees “Vis flere svar” (Show more replies) even though there are no other comments displayed. In this screenshot one can see my reply, which is displayed when one clicks “Show more replies”. When I had posted the reply, I first thought that it had not been published. Usually there is a number beside the talking bubble showing the number of replies if there is at least one person who has replied. That number shows the number of replies. In this case, the talking bubble icon indicates that no one has replied – in spite of my reply having been published.


The day after, on 31.01.21, I saw that I was no longer reply deboosted. Replies that were ‘invislible’ the day before, were now visible. Later I have been reply deboosted again. In most cases my replies have been counted when the number of replies have been displayed beside the talking bubble icon. Today, I do not experience reply deboosting.