Image courtesy: The Hans India
Twitter has started testing the first of a promised suite of new privacy tools: the option to unfollow someone without banning them. The delete follower option is presently being tested on the web and appears to legitimise the notion of a “soft block” as an official Twitter tool.
According to the tweet announcing the test, you can delete followers from your profile page’s follower list. Simply click the three-dot menu next to a follower’s name, then “Remove follower,” and your tweets will no longer appear in their timeline.
This is not the same as banning someone, which prevents them from reading your tweets and direct contacting you (and keeps you from doing the same with them). Twitter’s new delete following function is more of a distant unfollow button, a softer method to separate yourself from someone else on Twitter.
Previously, you could perform a “soft block,” which is when you manually blocked and unblocked someone to have them unfollow you without their awareness. Followers you unfollow must refollow you in order to see your tweets on their timeline, and if you have protected tweets (aka private tweets only visible by your followers), they must reapply to become a follower.
Testing comparable capabilities as an official Twitter feature acknowledges that it might be easier and that others could benefit from it. It’s also another example of Twitter making its users’ behaviours official features, similar to the @reply, hashtag, and retweet.
An even better solution would be more precise control over who may see your tweets at the time they are created – Twitter is exploring an Instagram-style “Close Friends” option — but for now, quickly and discreetly reducing your following list will suffice.