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Twitter Expands New ‘Safety Mode’ Auto-Block Option to More Users

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Twitter Expands New 'Safety Mode' Auto-Block Option to More Users


After four months of testing, Twitter has announced that it’s now making its new ‘Safety Mode’ feature available to more users.

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.  

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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.





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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

See also  Musk accuses Twitter of withholding data, says may withdraw bid

Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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