Twitter announced yesterday that it’s testing a feature on the web that makes it possible to remove followers without blocking them. Sometimes, users want to stop a follower from seeing their tweets without outright blocking them — if that follower were to navigate directly to their page, it’d be clear that they had been blocked, which can pose safety risks. Now, some Twitter users with access to this test can remove a follower by navigating to their profile and clicking to view their list of followers. Then, they can click on a three-dot icon next to the follow button and select “remove this follower” from the drop-down menu. Not all users currently have this functionality.
Previously, users had maneuvered this “soft block” themselves — if you block a user, then unblock them, it removes them from your followers list. The current test only allows you to remove followers from your own follower list, so if you’re a particularly popular tweeter, it could be difficult to scroll through thousands of names to find the one person you’re looking for. But according to app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi, Twitter has also been working on the ability to remove a follower from their profile, not just your own followers list.
The platform is showing a continued investment in user experience updates focused on web safety. Last week, it revealed a suite of privacy tools that it’s working on, which included the ability to remove followers. The platform also proposed the potential to archive tweets after 30, 60 or 90 days, hiding liked tweets, and leaving conversations. While third-party programs like Semiphemeral have long made it possible to automatically delete old tweets and unlike messages, having these features built into the app itself could make it easier for users to have greater control over their digital presence without sharing their data with outside developers.