How To Block An Annoying User On Twitter

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annoying twitter usersOne of the big problems with social media – and the Internet in general – is the delicate balance of having to maintain one’s privacy without being a completely boxed-in hermit of anonymity. As useful as Twitter can be, it’s easy to become stalked and harassed through their system. Fortunately, there are a few ways to get around this and keep yourself sane.

In Online Privacy: Do You Share Too Much Information?, Aaron discusses the open nature of Twitter and how easy it is for users to accidentally spill too many beans to the world. What happens when you’ve attracted the sort of followers that you don’t want following you? What can you do when they won’t leave you alone?

Here are a few ways in which you can block annoying Twitter users and regain your sense of peace.

Block User

annoying twitter users

Blocking is a built-in Twitter feature that helps you keep those pesky Internet trolls at bay. When a user is blocked, the following will happen:

  • They cannot follow your Twitter account,
  • They cannot add your Twitter account to any of their lists,
  • They will not see your profile picture in their profile page or in their timeline,
  • Their @replies will not show in your Mentions tab.

Blocking a user is an easy 4-step process:

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  • Log in to your Twitter account,
  • Visit the profile page of the Twitter account you wish to block,
  • Click the actions dropdown menu on their profile page,
  • Select Block.

A blocked user will not be notified directly that they’ve been blocked, but they may be able to discover it since they won’t be able to follow you anymore. Keep in mind that if your Twitter account is not protected, all of your tweets will still be visible to anyone who visits your timeline.

If you happen to block the wrong person or if you are suddenly overcome by an oppressive wave of guilt, unblocking is even easier:

  • Visit the profile page of the Twitter account you wish to unblock,
  • Click the actions dropdown menu on their profile page,
  • Select Unblock.

Report User

twitter annoying

If the user is more than just annoying (e.g., if the user is a spam account or if the user is violating Twitter’s terms of service), then you should report them. There are two different reporting procedures depending on the type of infraction: spam accounts and rule violators.

For spam accounts:

  • Log in to your Twitter account,
  • Visit the profile page of the Twitter account you wish to report,
  • Click the actions dropdown menu on their profile page,
  • Select Report for Spam.

For rule violators:

  • Visit the Twitter Forms page,
  • Under the “Report a Violation” section, select the type of violation of the user,
  • Fill out the necessary details and submit the report.

When you report a user, they will automatically be blocked from your account. The Twitter team will then review the account and enact any disciplinary actions if necessary. Reporting a user will prevent them from harassing other users in the future, so if the grounds call for it, please report infractions as you see them.

Mute User

annoying twitter users

What if there’s a user that isn’t exactly breaking any rules and you don’t want to block them from following you, yet you don’t want to read their tweets and you don’t want them filling up your timeline? Twitter doesn’t provide a “muting” service innately, but there are a few tools you can use to mute other users from appearing on your timeline.

Third-party Twitter services like Muuter and Twalala will allow you to mute tweets and users from showing up in your timeline based on specific keywords. Both services require your Twitter credentials in order to work, so if you’re overly cautious about that, then you may want to look at other alternatives.

Certain Twitter clients have a feature that lets you filter out certain users and tweets based on keywords. Brizzly is a web-based Twitter client with a muting option. DestroyTwitter and TweetDeck are desktop Twitter clients that have filtering options, too. These aren’t the only ones, either; have a look around at various desktop clients.

Image Credit: Muted Twitter Bird Via TechHead

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