Twitter expands Safety Mode beta to more users in English-speaking countries

Twitter expands Safety Mode beta to more users in English-speaking countries

Last year, Twitter announced Safety Mode — a feature that aims to shield users from potential spam and abuse on the platform. It’s an auto-moderation tool that detects insults, repetitive mentions, and other indicators that point at potentially unwanted interactions. Twitter has been testing the feature with a handful of beta users for some time, and it has now finally started expanding it to more people. Twitter states that now almost half of the users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand will get access to this feature.

Safety Mode blocks or mutes accounts that are potentially abusive or spammy for 7 days. This helps isolate targeted users for a limited time in an automatic manner. The feature gives users the option to manually approve the block list of suggested accounts — in case the algorithm mistakenly marks a certain reply as harmful. In a statement to The Verge, a Twitter spokesperson mentioned:

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Safety Mode was previously available to approximately 750 beta users, but it will be expanding to ~50 percent of people in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand. Since the initial rollout of the Safety Mode beta in September, we’ve learned that some people want help identifying unwelcome interactions. For this reason, our technology will now proactively identify potentially harmful or uninvited replies, and prompt people in the beta to consider enabling Safety Mode. This update further reduces the burden on people dealing with unwelcome interactions.

If a user receives a harmful reply, Twitter will suggest that they turn on Safety Mode to protect themselves from trolls and harassers in the digital space. This prompt will highlight the feature to make it apparent to those who are unaware of its existence. For the time being, there’s no telling when and if the feature will expand to more regions. Considering it is language-dependent, it could take the company a while to figure out how to make it accurate for languages other than English.

Will you be using Safety Mode on your account? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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