WASHINGTON — Microblogging site Twitter will be launching a new feature called Safety Mode that will temporarily autoblock accounts sending harmful or abusive tweets to users.
Safety Mode will launch in beta with a “small feedback group” of accounts on iOS, Android, and Twitter with English-language settings enabled and plans of expanding the group of testers “in the coming months.”
“Unwelcome Tweets and noise can get in the way of conversations on Twitter, so we’re introducing Safety Mode, a new feature that aims to reduce disruptive interactions,” senior product manager Jarrod Doherty said in a blog post.
“Starting today, we’re rolling out this safety feature to a small feedback group on iOS, Android, and Twitter.com, beginning with accounts that have English-language settings enabled.”
Accounts are temporarily blocked for seven days, but the company has said users could undo autoblocks made in error.
Introducing Safety Mode. A new way to limit unwelcome interactions on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/xa5Ot2TVhF
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) September 1, 2021
“Safety Mode is a feature that temporarily blocks accounts for seven days for using potentially harmful language — such as insults or hateful remarks — or sending repetitive and uninvited replies or mentions,” the blog said.
“When the feature is turned on in your Settings, our systems will assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the Tweet’s content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier. Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or frequently interact with will not be auto blocked.”
Twitter initially showed off Safety Mode in February at its Analyst Day presentation. Still, at the time, it was not known when it would officially roll out.
“When the feature is turned on in your Settings, our systems will assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the Tweet’s content and the relationship between the Tweet author and replier,” Doherty said.
“Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or frequently interact with will not be auto blocked.”
“Now testing: Safety Mode to help reduce disruptive interactions on Twitter. Automatically block accounts that add unwelcome replies, Quote Tweets, and mentions to your convos. If you’re in the test, you can turn on Safety Mode in your “Privacy and safety” settings,” Twitter support tweeted.
This is Twitter’s latest feature that attempts to reduce abuse on the platform.
Other recent features include hiding replies, letting people limit who can reply to their posts, and showing a warning before you tweet a potentially harmful response.
Despite these new features, harassment continues to be a significant problem on the platform, as evidenced recently by the torrent of racist abuse against Black players on England’s football team following their Euro 2020 championship loss.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari
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