Twitter’s new security mode automatically blocks abusive accounts

Twitter kicks off a new feature called Safety Mode that automatically blocks accounts that send you malicious or abusive tweets. Safety Mode launches in beta with a “small feedback group” of accounts on iOS, Android and with English settings enabled and plans to expand the group of testers “in the coming months”.

“When the feature is enabled in your Settings, our systems assess the likelihood of negative engagement by considering both the content of the Tweet and the relationship between the Tweet author and the replyer,” senior product manager Jarrod Doherty said in a blog after. “Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or interact with often aren’t automatically blocked.” Accounts will be temporarily blocked for seven days, but the company says you can unblock accidentally created auto-blocks.

Twitter showed Security Mode in February during its Analyst Day presentation, but at the time we didn’t know when it would be officially rolled out. This is Twitter’s latest feature that aims to reduce abuse on the platform. Other recent features include hiding replies, letting people restrict who can reply to their posts, and displaying a warning before tweeting a potentially harmful reply.

Despite the new features, harassment remains a major issue on the platform, as recently demonstrated by the deluge of racial abuse against black players on the England football team following their loss of the Euro 2020 championship.