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Twitter introduces Safety Mode, in bid to battle abuse

Twitter has finally introduced a measure to reduce abuse on the platform, so you can apply it if you need some peace of mind while browsing social media.

One of the (admittedly many) things that put people off Twitter is the relentless torrent of abuse that seems to drench everyone on the platform sooner or later. Is it really worth the trade-off for cute cat GIFs and witty puns?

Fortunately, thanks to Safety Mode, Twitter has seemingly devised a plan to let you have the nice things without the nastiness.

This new feature which “aims to reduce reduce disruptive interactions” will initially only be rolled out to a “small feedback group” only with English-language settings enabled, but if it proves a success then it is likely to be more widely adopted by the social media network.

Twitter describes the new feature as follows:

“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. 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 autoblocked.”

Evidently its success hinges on the reliability of such technology to recognise “harmful language”, which may well prove to be a tall order.

At this early stage, it has been confirmed that ‘people from marginalised communities and female journalists’ will be in the initial feedback group, and once it’s been observed how well the tool is functioning, the platform will ‘incorporate improvements and adjustments before bringing it to everyone on Twitter.’


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