Twit Cleaner – Really Useful Tool To Unfollow Dead, Useless, Bot Accounts

Author: Gab Goldenberg

I love Twit Cleaner!

Some of my work recently has involved creating a follow policy as well as helping manage a Twitter account for a software protection company called Wibu, through my job with illuminea (they’re illuminea’s client, not my own).

Anyways, I was going through the people Wibu were following and realized loads of them were irrelevant – based on their bios/descriptions – but that checking for dead accounts, bots etc isn’t easy based on Twitter’s web interface alone.

The problem is that the web interface will only show you a person’s 3 most recent tweets, and that you often need to click through to see each account, one at a time, after seeing the initial three.

(The reason you need to see more is that you’d have to check if this is someone who is self-centered, only tweets based on RSS feeds or otherwise uses Twitter in a way that won’t allow you to build a relationship with them.)

Also, you have to remember to open the user profiles in new tabs. Otherwise, when you click back, you start at the top of your followers list, and may need to wait for the AJAX to load more followers when you scroll down (the “view more followers” function that loads their profiles when you get to the end but without loading a new page) .

So there’s lots of points where the web interface slows you down when trying to prune who you’re following.

Enter TwitCleaner which is a Twitter app that will check all these profiles for common patterns of anti-social behaviour and generate a report for you. From there you can just click user profiles to unfollow.

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Primarily I wrote Twit Cleaner to try and improve my own personal Twitter experience - after all, the less junk you're following, the more you can target Twitter to exactly what you want it to be. To that end, I've designed it to give you as much information and identify as many potentially problematic accounts as possible. From there you (the user) can make the most informed decisions about how to maximise your Twitter experience. Thanks again for writing about Twit Cleaner. I'm so glad you like it. Si Dawson [Twit Cleaner Creator]

    Comment by Si Dawson - January 18, 2012 @ 4:53am
  2. hey Si, Absolutely, sure thing - you've built some great logic into your tool. Some suggestions for improvement: -Have an ajax call to Twitter that will load a person's description in a overlay window, when someone hovers on an avatar. That way if you're on the fence, you can see if this person is even relevant - surprisingly it's often not the case, especially if you used tools to follow people. -Move the description text in italics to the left, below the group name so it's clearer what each group is about. I only noticed it later on. -The ability to adjust thresholds or at least know what they're set at would be helpful - some are visible while others aren't. Similarly, absolute numbers are important for context - if someone is following 400 people - a fair number suggesting he's socializing - but has 5000 followers, Twit Cleaner will list him as a snob, when it's not necessarily the case.

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 18, 2012 @ 7:43am
  3. Ok. I've moved the italicised text to the left. Not sure it looks better (too much whitespace on the RHS) but I'll give a whirl for a while, see if it grows on me. I've listed the thresholds on every item now. You were right, there was a small handful I'd missed. I also put in the following/er numbers on the snob category. Ajaxing to Twitter won't work (too expensive/slow), but I should be able to pull it from my database. I'd want to show recent tweets not just bio. I'm going to have to restructure the core of the system before I can implement that well though. I could roll out a crappy version, but I'd rather not. I'll also need to sort out UX & UI issues. So, a bit of work there, but doable. Si

    Comment by Si Dawson - January 19, 2012 @ 3:47am
  4. hey Si, Awesome sauce, n thanks for that - awesome to hear a dev who takes usability seriously like that. Do you do custom WP work btw?

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 20, 2012 @ 6:51am
  5. (weird, it ran out of "reply" links) While I do dig around inside WP now and then in order to get things working for my sites, I wouldn't consider myself au fait enough with it to do general work, or charge others.

    Comment by Si Dawson - January 20, 2012 @ 10:46pm
  6. ah ok, thanks for the fyi!

    Comment by Gabriel Goldenberg - January 26, 2012 @ 3:56am

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