Keeping up with an active Twitter account can require more time than you want to devote to a single form of social media involvement. As you dig into the tweets of people you've followed, you may find your interest in some of them waning. To disconnect yourself without actually choosing the unfollow option, you can use one of Twitter's other methods of removing some or all of a follower's output from your regular timeline.
Follow You, Follow Me
Unlike other social media sites, Twitter turns following into two separate, independent acts. You can follow someone who doesn't follow you. Likewise, you don't have to follow everyone who follows you. Your timeline displays only the tweets of the people you follow, along with the posts they retweet. Your followers' tweets show up only if you also follow them. This represents a change from Twitter's earlier years, when you could see replies from people you followed to users who weren't on your follow list.
Blocking Someone Completely
To block another Twitter user so he can't follow you or add you to his lists, log in to your account and load his profile page into a browser window. Twitter offers you several ways to access profile pages. The user ID that appears on every tweet in your timeline constitutes a link to that individual's profile. The search box at the top of the timeline enables you to locate a user by name or ID. Once you reach the profile in question, click on the icon that displays a stylized human silhouette -- what Twitter calls "the person icon" -- to open the "User Actions" drop-down menu, which contains the blocking option.
Dealing With Spammers
If someone you follow -- or who follows you -- turns out to be a spammer instead of a source of engaging perspectives, report the account to Twitter for corrective evaluation. The same User Actions menu you access from a individual's profile to exercise Twitter's blocking feature also includes an option that reports a user for spamming. Triggering this option blocks the account so the user can't follow you or send you replies. Your report prompts Twitter to review the person's behavior and may suspend the account's privileges altogether.
Selectively Viewing Tweets
Along with posting their own tweets, some prolific Twitter users also retweet large numbers of other people's observations. If you're more interested in an individual's own thoughts and observations than in the material she retweets, you can filter out her retweets without fully blocking her account. On her profile page, access the User Actions menu and select "Turn Off Retweets." You'll continue to see her regular posts but your timeline won't display any of her retweets, which you still can view on her profile page. This option works only if you follow the other party.
- Twitter Help Center: Types of Tweets and Where They Appear
- Twitter Help Center: Blocking Users on Twitter
- Twitter Help Center: Reporting Spam on Twitter
- TechCrunch: Twitter Decides We're Not Smart Enough for @Replies, Changes Them Again
- Twitter Blogs: The Replies Kerfuffle
- TwiTip: How to Unfollow on Twitter With Class
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