Twitter's Safety Mode feature rolls out to half of New Zealand users

Twitter's Safety Mode feature roles out to half of New Zealand users
Bot owners will also have the ability to label the account as automated. Photo credit: Supplied / Twitter

Twitter says its Safety Mode feature, first launched for testing in the US last year, is being made available to around half of the platform's users in Aotearoa.

Around 50 percent of users in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Ireland are also getting access to the functionality.

"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," the company posted.

Safety Mode temporarily blocks accounts for harmful or hateful language and uninvited replies. Blocks are active for seven days.

When the feature is turned on the "likelihood of a negative engagement" is assessed by Twitter.

"Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or frequently interact with will not be autoblocked," the company said.

"Authors of tweets found by our technology to be harmful or uninvited will be autoblocked, meaning they'll temporarily be unable to follow your account, see your tweets, or send you direct messages."

For those with access to the functionality, Safety Mode can be enabled through Privacy and Safety under settings. 

Meanwhile the company has announced the label it was testing to allow self-identified 'good bots' on the platform to identify themselves is being rolled out worldwide.

If an account is identified as a bot, a small robot icon under the account's name and username. The fact a tweet is automated would also be visible when it appears in a timeline.

While there are good bot accounts for things such as COVID-19 places of interest, earthquakes and more, there is some concern that 'bad bots' - like the one that spoiled the day's Wordle puzzle for anyone that tweeted about it - could also use the label.

"All accounts on Twitter are subject to the Twitter rules," a Twitter spokesperson said

"As the label is opt-in only, we will not be auditing accounts that choose to adopt it at this time and will rely on our reporting process should an account violate the rules."

The labelling feature is now available to all bots that use Twitter's API.