Twitter opens up its anti-harassment Safety Mode to millions more users

Around half of all accounts in the US, UK, Canada and other English-speaking markets are gaining access.


Twitter is expanding access to its Safety Mode by bringing the beta to around 50 percent of accounts in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. The company started testing the feature in September with a small number of people. It's expanding the beta to additional English-speaking countries to gain more insights and look into ways of making further improvements.

Safety Mode is a setting that will automatically block accounts that Twitter thinks may be using harmful language. Those accounts won't be able to interact with you for seven days. There's a way for users to manually review the tweets and accounts Twitter found questionable, and to unblock that account if there wasn't actually a problem. Accounts that users follow or interact with often are never autoblocked. The idea is to cut down on harassment and prevent people from having to go through the process of manually reporting offending tweets and accounts and waiting for Twitter to take action.

A Twitter spokesperson told Engadget that, since the company started testing the feature in September, it discovered some people need or want more help to snuff out unwanted interactions. Going forward, its systems will keep a look out for possibly harmful or uninvited replies, and prompt users in the beta to switch on Safety Mode if it believes they might benefit. The idea is that there'll be fewer instances of people having to endure unwanted interactions.