By default, i.e. on the (text) console, automatic blanking actually *is* active. The console will be blanked after 10 minutes of inactivity and will be switched on again by a mouse movement or an arbitrary key. (The key has to come from a connected keyboard, sending a character from the terminal program through the serial line does of course not trigger unblanking).
So it is actually the result of the GUI if screen-blanking is switched off. Then it is also the job of the GUI to switch it back on. Qt has appropriate settings, X11 has the x11screensaver, other GUIs should have similar functions for screensavers, too.
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