Blocking Twitter Followers

Twitter2009-11-14 - I was in Protected Mode on Twitter from 2008-07-25 to 2009-03-01. Since moving to Unprotected Mode, I've received 3,743 notifications stating that Username is now following you on Twitter!

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Table of Contents

  1. Blocking and Followers Growth Rates
  2. Blocking and Removing Followers
  3. How can you tell if you've been Blocked?
  4. Follow Anyone Not Protected
  5. Article URIs

Blocking and Followers Growth Rates

Below are 3 charts from showing my Followers Growth Rate over a 2 week period in 2009 July (2009-07-01, 2009-07-07 and 2009-07-14) which of course is heavily influenced by my BLOCKING routines. I typically have 0% growth these days.

2009-07-01 2009-07-07 2009-07-14

Note: I was performing Auto-Follow testing (FlyPaper Tweets) during the above 2 week period, hence the dramatic decline in Followers as I BLOCKED all of those who Auto-Followed me based on specific keyword mentions.

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3,000+ Followers Blocked

Before you proceed further, for some of you, this is a new concept on Twitter. Few Twits manage their Followers and Following in the same fashion. Both areas SHOULD be maintained if you really wish to get the most of your Twitter experience. Believe me, I've tested this quite a bit over the past year. With 3,000+ Followers Blocked, I think I'm somewhat qualified to discuss the Blocking functions of Twitter and how they might be improved. Remove Function for ALL!

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Followers FFA (Free-For-All)

I'm not proud of that number but, I have no other choice other than to allow a Free-For-All (FFA) in my Followers Timeline, I can't do that. I've seen the fallout of allowing a Followers FFA, you end up on their Twitter Follow Trains and your Followers Growth goes into auto-pilot. You'll end up being forced to manage your Following due to the sheer number of Auto-Follows taking place within your Followers FFA. Again, if you don't Block those unwanted Followers, you're joining the many Follow Trains they are engaged with. It's a mess! Roger Dooley on Twitter agrees with me.

Have followed the @pageoneresults approach of blocking all promoters - they mine each others lists for new targets.


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Blocking and Removing Followers

From Twitter Help: Blocking and Removing Followers: Blocking someone instead of removing them means that not only do you not want to follow them, but you want to deny them the ability to follow or reply to you. Blocking is done from the actions section in the person's profile sidebar, or from the Followers section on the web using the Actions function.

Actions FunctionsImage at right shows the Actions column (for Unprotected users) from the Twitter Followers section of the web interface. I've erased the Username that appears after the Mention, Direct Message, Unfollow and Block functions.

My experience has been that the BLOCK function works much more effectively from the Followers section, for those that are Following you. I also BLOCK Twits I don't Follow, I'm proactive, I see them coming. Note, I've seen the BLOCK function not function on multiple occasions while performing this task from the person's profile sidebar and I usually find that happening during prime time hours on Twitter when resources are experiencing latency.

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Remove Function for ALL!

I'd like to see Twitter provide ALL of us with the REMOVE functionality that Protected users have available to them. I feel the BLOCK function is a bit harsh just to Remove unwanted Followers from my Timeline.

Protected Mode > Actions > Functions > RemoveImage at right shows the Actions column (for Protected users) from the Twitter Followers section of the web interface. I've erased the Username that appears after the Mention, Direct Message, Follow, Block and Remove functions.

I understand that I can go into Protected Mode and Remove them and then go Unprotected again. I don't want to perform that multi-step workaround, the BLOCK function is much more convenient but, a bit too blunt in many instances. How about just giving us ALL the Remove functionality that Protected users have? Please?

Quick Tip: If you've BLOCKED someone and they are still appearing in your Timeline, try this procedure and see if it corrects the issue.

Unblock > Follow > Unfollow > Block

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How can you tell if you've been Blocked?

If you browse to a Tweet from a specific username and are presented with this message; This person has protected their tweets. You need to send a request before you can start following this person. either you've been Blocked or that user is in Protected mode. If the user is in Protected mode, you'll see a lock icon Protected Lock Icon next to their username. If you don't see that lock icon, you've been Blocked.

This person has protected their tweets.

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Confirming that you've been Blocked by some Twit

To confirm that you've been Blocked, go to and enter the Twit's username for whom you think has Blocked you. If you can view their Tweets in Twitter Search, that is a confirmation that you've been Blocked.

Note: Protected Protected Lock Icon user's Timelines DO NOT show up in Twitter Search.

If you click the link from Twitter Search to View Tweet of that username, you'll be presented with the below message along with a text message that slides down from the top of the page indicating; Sorry, you are not authorized to see this status. That's a definite confirmation that you've been Blocked.

This person has protected their tweets.

Sorry, you are not authorized to see this status.

2009-08-27 - I just invoked this message while checking to see why a certain Twitter employee was not showing in my Timeline anymore. When I clicked the Follow button, I got this message...

You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.

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Follow Anyone Not Protected

Use the Feed for this query link at the top right of to subscribe to the RSS Feed for that search query. You can now Follow what that username is Tweeting about even though they think they've Blocked you. I call it Covert Following on Twitter. Use Advanced Search Operators to include Tweets from:username, to:username, @username, etc.

Article URIs

URI Short: (29 characters)
PermaLink: (44 characters)

URI Short - Remove: (23 characters)
PermaFrag: (59 characters)

URI Short - Blocked: (24 characters)
PermaFrag: (52 characters)

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