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ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter was the first to report the tragic passing of 24-year-old quarterback Dwayne Haskins on Saturday morning, and his initial tweet was met with heavy criticism.
Schefter deleted his first tweet breaking the news of the 24-year-old’s death and tweeted a similar message about 20 minutes later, but not before many individuals criticized the NFL insider for the part of his message that said “struggling to catch on with Washington and Pittsburgh in the NFL.”
Many individuals noticed Schefter’s account autoblocking them Saturday, and have said the insider is “hiding in his safe space” or that he put “his account on ‘safety mode’ because he can’t handle owning up to what he did” regarding the Saturday morning tweet — that does not appear to be the case.
WHAT IS SAFETY MODE?
Twitter first introduced Safety Mode in September 2021 to a group of the platform’s users aiming to aims to reduce disruptive interactions.
“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,” Twitter’s announcement reads.
On March 18, one Twitter user tweeted at Schefter and said: “unblock me.. that safety mode messing me up.”
Later on April 4, a Twitter user wrote: “I was autoblocked by ESPN’s Adam Schefter for nothing as well…”
Twitter senior product manager Jarrod Doherty said in the September release that Twitter’s systems will assess the likelihood of a negative engagement by considering both the tweet’s content and the relationship between the author and replier.
“Our technology takes existing relationships into account, so accounts you follow or frequently interact with will not be autoblocked,” he said.
Twitter said in September it plans to observe the new feature and how it is working to be able to incorporate improvements and adjustments before bringing it to everyone.
While many are calling for Schefter to publicly apologize, his ESPN colleague Ryan Clark said Schefter approached him and discussed that “he was wrong … he apologized multiple times” for the tweet that drew heavy criticism on Saturday morning.
For now, it doesn’t appear this feature has fully rolled out and previous time-stamped tweets show that Schefter did not turn it on as a result of Saturday’s initial tweet.
Check back with OutKick for updates.