This Chrome extension lets you block all followers of any Twitter users with one click


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/18/this-chrome-extension-lets-you.html


#2

Finally, Dolt-45’s Twitter account serves a useful purpose for society.


#3

One and done, that’s my kind’a extension.


#4

So people who follow others they may not agree with just to keep tabs on what they are doing, what they are thinking, what they may be pushing, etc. will get autoblocked because obviously the only reason to follow someone is to be part of groupthink?

Meh. I guess echo chambers are cool too.


#5

Although it was explained to me recently here, and I buy it, that some people have some followers that are not following because they like or agree with the person.


#6

The extension doesn’t block people you’re already following. So if you follow a particular news outlet and they follow Il Douche to monitor his dopey tweets as part of their job, it won’t be blocked even though all his other sucker fans and racist randos will. That’s still millions of self-identifying arseholes, gone in one shot.


#7

Right, but unless grandfathered in, it nixes anyone new who might fall into that category.


#8

I’m sure there’s a way to whitelist accounts with this extension, and if there’s not it will quickly follow. If I had a Twitter account this extension would already be installed alongside the Drumpfinator and “Make Drumpf Tweets Eight Again”.

In general, my “groupthink echo chamber” can do very well without the comments made by a racist grifter’s marks. This is why the Discourse Mute Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey script is useful to me here (at least on desktop browsers).

ETA: Yes, it has a whitelist:

View blocking receipts and add protected users by right clicking the extension’s icon and choosing “Options.”


#9

For new people, how would you know to white list them? Unless you know someone specifically you want to follow, they would be invisible to you, yes?

And to be clear, I don’t have any problem with people blocking “John Smith” because they are saying bullshit. But with this app, because John Smith follows Trump, or Brietbart, or the NYT (where ever one draws the line) they suddenly are lumped in with these groups whether or not they actually agree with, parrot, or tweet similar views or not. An extreme example would be someone who works for the Poverty Law Center. I am sure they follow all sorts of horrible people and groups.


#10

Yes, assuming Twitter is the only place one visits on the Internet or in the media.

This tool basically says: block the millions of people who Follow [insert arsehole’s account here] on the reasonable assumption that the vast majority of them are fans and are therefore not worth hearing from on the platform. People or orgs you’re already following aren’t caught up in the bulk block, and you can whitelist other ones that you feel are trustworthy later on.

So, let’s say I Follow a reporter at the NYT, who has to follow Tucker Carlson’s account for his job covering the media. I use this extension to wipe out anyone who Follows Carlson: the media reporter’s account remains unblocked, but 2.3-million other accounts are blocked (Dolt-45’s will block 55-million).

Now most of those accounts belong to people whose opinions I don’t need to hear on Twitter, but of course there are others like the SPLC, which is probably monitoring Carlson for his white supremacist views. Assume I never heard about the SPLC but come across it in a news article or somewhere else (since Twitter isn’t my only source of information) – I can go into the extension and unblock the org’s account.


#11

careful with utilities like this, if you make too many queries to the twitter api they will auto-ban your account


#12

This is really useful. One feature I would like to see is to be able to select to block follower and following lists separately, since many trolls follow someone just to stalk/harass/grief them.

Also, and I know this a taller order, but a Firefox version would be welcome if and when the devs have time, not to sound ungrateful for the time they put into the Chrome extension.


#13

Seems like an awfully blunt instrument, but then, I don’t have millions of followers. Or a twitter account.


#14

Really? Join a lot of alt-right forums to look for the one non-extremist post that might be missed otherwise?

The signal-to-noise ratio on twitter for users with a large number of followers is pretty nuts already, just look at the replies to, well, any post by the average verified user.

The idea that users should be forcibly subjected to energy leeches who just want to disrupt conversation reeks of “this doesn’t affect me, so why would anyone else have a need for this” IMHO.

One has to selectively choose to apply this to a twitter user, after all.


#15

The sad thing is that Twitter should be offering these tools itself. Users have been clamoring for them for years. It’s no great mystery why either. Limiting the reach of trolls would require them not to generate ad revenue from the trolling of energy sucking asshats.


#16

Exactly. It’s all about MAUs and ad revenue, which is why they also have crappy to non-existent moderation there. If they put in half the effort at moderation that BB does (and they can easily afford it) they’d lose 10s if not 100s of millions of users within a matter of weeks.


#17

I suppose this is useful if you use Twitter to do things other than to follow assholes and keep up to date on their doings. That’s pretty much all I use it for, these days.


#18

what if i follow a noxious user because their tweets are comedicly bad and also they may announce a war and it would alert me to hop in my car and head out to my country home away from the blast radius?


#19

Even better just delete Twitter account, nothing good ever comes from it and you’ll probably be happier for it.


#20

This is a terrible idea. You point out that it’s a good thing that it doesn’t block the people that you already follow, so you understand that there may be a reason that someone is following a twit that doesn’t mean that the follower is a twit as well. Some people like to keep an eye on what “the other side” is talking about. Others follow someone because of one thing tweeted at some point that they liked or agreed with, and only find out much later that the person is actually a horrible human being. Whatever the cause, there are plenty of reasons that a person who follows or is followed by a Nazi is not a Nazi themselves.

Meanwhile, you’ve now shut yourself off from potentially interesting voices that just got caught in the dragnet.

Guilt by association is just not a good look, whether it’s in the form of Sesame Credit or in the form of mass-blocking of followers and the followed on Twitter. Sure, it’s much WORSE when it’s done by governments, lenders and employers than when it’s done by ordinary people who just want to trim their Twitter feed, but the idea that guilt by association is a good way to filter folks at all should probably be discouraged on principle just the same.