Another day, another lost opportunity for Twitter to develop a feature that allows you to telepathically convince your most annoying followers to unfollow you on their own. What the bird app has done, however, is give you the ability to remove any followers you don’t want having easy access to your tweets. It’s a lot less intrusive than letting a big tech company tap directly into your brain, too.
Forcing a user to unfollow you is easy, but it’s only currently available on the web. Twitter began testing the feature in early September and rolled it out to all users starting Monday. Simply go to the profile you want to cast out of your online entourage, click the three dots to the left of the follow button, and select Remove this follower. This can be useful if you don’t want to spoon-feed someone your tweets, but also don’t want them to know you’ve taken action against them.
You can also go to your profile page, click Followers, hit the three dots next to the follower you want to get rid of, and choose Remove this follower, but this approach will be tedious for anyone with more than a handful of followers. By default, Twitter sorts your followers by when they followed you, so you’ll see the most recent members of your audience first. You’re in for a lot of scrolling if you try to find and eliminate a longtime follower this way.
Anyone you remove from your list of followers won’t be notified, but they may figure it out if they go to your profile and see they have the option to follow you. If you know them offline, though, you can always play it off as a site glitch or mistake. Or just be honest and tell them they need to get their twit together.
How to remove a Twitter follower on the mobile app
Although this is the first time Twitter has offered a straightforward way to remove a follower without blocking them, the idea has been around for a while in the form of the “soft block.” This is still your best option on the app.
Go to the profile you want to unfollow you, tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen, and then tap Block. Confirm your choice by tapping Block again on the box that appears. If you’re fast enough, you can also tap Undo from the alert that appears at the top of the screen after you finalize the block. If you’re not, just tap the red Blocked button on their profile page and select Unblock. This will remove them from your list of followers, but they’ll still be able to see all your tweets if they find their way to your page.
And if you want people to unfollow you the old-fashioned way, you can just keep making bad tweets.