Twitter was both criticized and ridiculed after it announced that a feature to allow users to remove a single follower would soon be implemented, with many people wondering what the point was.
The social network announced on Monday that the new feature, originally teased last month, was now “rolling out to everyone” – meaning people can now go into their list of followers and manually remove the ones they do not want. The button will make it “easier to be the curator of your own followers list,” the company said.
The option to remove a follower is now rolling out to everyone on web.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 11, 2021
Though some social media users praised the feature as a bonus option to manage their followers list, many mocked the idea for being redundant, and questioned why a person would opt to remove one of their unwanted followers when it was possible to just block them instead – with the same effect.
Twitter already allows its users to block others on the platform, making it impossible for the blocked user to follow the person who has blocked them. The platform also technically already allows users to ‘soft block’ a follower, through blocking and then unblocking them. That option quietly removes the person as a follower, but does not inform them that they have been removed. The new feature appears to be a quicker way to do the same thing.
Others predicted problems arising from the new button, including glitches making unwanted removals.
Some suggested that the feature would lead to problems for higher-profile users, if others were to judge them based on who they allow to follow their content.
“Great. Now losers won’t just police your tweets, your likes and who you follow… Now who follows you will be deemed ‘problematic’ when it suits people,” protested journalist and e-sports commentator Richard Lewis.
Twitter is regularly criticized for rolling out features that many users deem useless, while steadfastly refusing to introduce features that people have been demanding for years, like the elusive ‘edit button.’
Last week, the social network was mocked for announcing a new alert system which will warn users that a conversation could become “heated or intense” if they join in.
In August, the social giant came under fire for proposing a feature that would allow users to flag posts as “misleading,” while in July, a proposed feature to allow users to turn off certain keywords in the replies of their posts was branded redundant due to keyword muting already existing as a separate tool.
One recent controversial feature, Fleets – which many panned as being a pointless knockoff of similar features found on Snapchat and Instagram – lasted just under nine months before Twitter removed it to widespread applause.
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