After four months of testing, Twitter has announced that it’s now making its new ‘Safety Mode’ feature available to more users.
Remember when we began testing a new feature called Safety Mode? After months of feedback from beta users, we’re excited to expand this to some of you in several new English-speaking markets to gain more feedback and insights. https://t.co/8TM7S5Zfujpic.twitter.com/AqVOUwyNQv
To clarify, Safety Mode does not provide you with the capability to shut people up in real life via a plasma-like bubble that emanates from your core when called upon. It’s only restricted to Twitter, and it’s not a super power of any kind.
Safety Mode is essentially auto-block at scale, based on automated system detection.
As you can see here, within your ‘Privacy and Safety’ options in the app, some users will now have access to ‘Safety Mode’ which, as described above, will autoblock potentially problematic accounts for 7 days.
Problematic accounts in this context are those that are using potentially harmful language, as well as those that have been sending repetitive, unresponded to replies or @mentions your way.
The idea is that this can help users avoid negative impacts – so if you’re getting a heap of replies to a controversial tweet (intended or not), you can switch on Safety Mode, and Twitter’s systems will then shield you from those mentions. And given that the Twitter rage cycle tends to only last for hours at a time, it’ll likely only take a day or so for things to blow over – so if you do slip-up, the option could provide a means to alleviate some of the psychological stress that can be associated with on-platform pile-ons and abuse.
Though it could also help some users avoid accountability, and the consequences of their actions in the app.
That seems like less of a concern, because the reason why people intentionally share controversial opinions is to stir up the Twitter nest, and see what response they get, so you wouldn’t think that they’d then want to block those replies and avoid such.
It seems more designed for people who’ve unintentionally stumbled into such, and are at risk of being ‘canceled;’ by the Twitter mob. And in those instances, maybe the best course of action is to apologize as necessary, then switch on Safety Mode and/or log-off for a bit.
Because it can happen – sometimes an opinion or observation which may seem logical or reasonable to you could be misinterpreted, and as the retweets and mentions pile-up, it can get stressful as you consider the broader ramifications for your reputation or standing.
In most cases, such missteps don’t have long-lasting impacts, but most people don’t want to be the focus of ire, so if you have made a mistake, this could be a good, temporary solution.
As Twitter notes, it’s now bringing Safety Mode to ‘several new English-speaking markets’, so it could be available in your Twitter app sometime soon.