Web Development

How To Bulk Unfollow On Twitter in Minutes

I haven’t “tweeted” for a long time. I joined Twitter on the general bandwagon last year, downloaded and installed TweetDeck – and pretty much forgot about it. I did turn on Auto-Follow via SocialOomph though. So a year later I have 3,000 followers and maybe 50 are HostNexus clients and people I know. So 2,950 people have followed me for the sole reason of spamming me with links to their sites. They don’t care what I say because, well, I say very little. If I’m ever going to really use Twitter I need to follow only those I have a general interest in following and that is people I choose to follow and any past, present or prospective clients of HostNexus.

So today I went on a mission to purge my Twitter account.

As most people in Twitterdom know, there are thousands of apps that help you manage your Twitter account, so I thought that mass unfollowing on Twitter was going to be pretty simple. I tried several tools but all either had no Bulk Unfollow option or no Select All option. I started hitting Unfollow on people on Twitter Karma but that got real old after about 100 clicks. I then start hitting checkboxes on Tweepi and Untweeps but another 150 clicks later my right index finger started to cramp up in a death grip from hell. But both Tweepi and Untweeps do not list all your followers so it was kind of pointless anyhow. I then found ManageFlitter which listed all your followers in pages of 100 with checkboxes, but of course no Select All option.

I did some digging and found out that Twitter had put their foot down on Mass Unfollowing in April of this year (2010). All applications either had to remove Bulk Unfollow options or the Select All option to continue to operate within Twitter’s update TOS. Pretty ridiculous. I can understand enforcing a Bulk Unfollow option but telling developers to remove a “Select All” option? Very weird. But it got me thinking. The Select All thing is just a JavaScript call and happens in your browser so surely there should be a nifty little FireFox plugin that allows me to Select All?

Yes! There is. :D

A plugin is available for FireFox 3.0 called Check All but it doesn’t work in FireFox 3.6 that I’m currently using. After another plugin search I found an experimental plugin which is an updated version of Check All and you can find it here. There is another one here (thanks backy). Mozilla will give you all types of warnings about the first plugin, saying it hasn’t been verified and that your computer might grow legs and jump out the window if you install it. It works just fine. Install it. Restart FireFox, rawr.

Next go to ManageFlitter and login via Twitter Oauth. Click “Show All” and you’ll be presented with a list of your followers in pages of 100 with a checkbox next to each and an Unfollow button on the left. Hit Ctrl+A (Select All, yes baby), right click on a highlighted area and you’ll see the new plugin option “Check All Selected Checkboxes”, click Unfollow.

Unfollowing 100 people on Twitter in one go is a beautiful thing to behold. :)

Click Next, Ctrl+A, Right Click, Select All Checkboxes, Unfollow. Boom, another 100 Tweeps bite the dust. Rinse and repeat. I got it down to 5 seconds per page, that’s a 1,000 in under a minute. Bye Tweeps.

P.S. If you’re one of the 12 invisible people I’m still following….my hat goes off to you for evading the purge.

P.P.S. Damn, those Unfollow programs are quick. 600 people auto-unfollowed me already!. I’m crushed. :p

About the author

Laurence Flynn

Hey! I'm Laurence, hosting industry veteran and entrepreneur, obsessed with web performance. My aim is to build the cheapest and fastest Optimized WordPress Hosting platform available today. Our back-end systems include Nginx and Redis combined with PHP 7, FPM and MariaDB to deliver maximum performance. Our front-end UI is powered by the beautiful Plesk control panel to deliver a smooth user experience. All secured with Imunify360, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Connect with me on LinkedIn.


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