Ramin Hossaini

Ridding Twitter of Annoyances


Fact: Life is tough when you’re easily irritated online.

Twitter is an amazing service (if used properly). It’s a great way of getting news quickly, and personally, I find it to be a great place to find entertaining people. It definitely has its uses.

With that said, I have to say that every one of us have been annoying to someone, somewhere, at some time. It happens. However, with certain folks, it happens more regularly than others. Look – that’s fine. That’s what makes us all different. It’s also what makes me find you annoying.

The most common solution is unfollowing someone (or taking it a step further by blocking and reporting them for spam). Easier said than done. Sometimes you have a couple conversations with a person and fool yourself into thinking you’re friends. It happens. So what to do?

TweetDeck has recently (version 0.34+) implemented an amazing feature: Global filter

A Couple Essentials


Let’s face it. Justin Bieber exists. He also commands an legion of hormone-crazed teenagers online. Add his name to that filter list, as shown above, and you should be alright though. It’s actually a fortunate thing that he has a unique name. So you should be safe to filter it as a word completely.


Formspring is a service that allows people to ask questions anonymously. Seems very popular. I’ve noticed that this happens among people who seem to think they’re more famous than they actually are. I don’t have any intention of asking you anything.

The easiest solution is to add “www.formspring” as a keyword.


No real explanation needed for this one. Just block that keyword and be done with it.

Exaggeration and Excess-Enthusiasm

It’s a tough one figuring out the ideal number of exclamation-marks. Which number is ideal? I’m not entirely sure, but 6 has worked well for me (!!!!!!)

Again, it’s tough to say how many is the ideal number to filter here. My studies have shown that 5-S’s (sssss) is too much.

This is usually an indication that you should probably be following more mature Tweeters. Otherwise, “meeee” is a great keyword to filter.


“<3": You're better off unfollowing this person completely.

“♥”: I wish I could block this, but TweetDeck seems to have some sort of unicode limitations – you might have to put up with this kind of Tweet for the time being.

People using Twitter as an IM service

You’ve seen this happen. Mutual-friends reply back and forth, then keep going for about 30 or 40 tweets. Amazing. I hate you. Solution: Add both their names to the keyword filter-list with an ‘@’ as a prefix. For example: @AnnoyingPerson

Sources worth filtering


Foursquare is a service that allows people to act exactly like dogs pissing on trees marking their territory. Everybody fights for the “Mayor” position at a restaurant by “checking-in” regularly.

Block it by adding “foursquare” to your ‘sources’ filter-list.


Some Twitter accounts are linked to blogs. Each time a new article is published, a Tweet is published at the same time. I have an RSS reader, and I’m not scared to use it.


API almost always is a post by a bot.

Remaining Challenges

“your” versus “you’re”

Also known as the Inability to understand the difference between “your” and “you’re”. If done consistently, this serves as a sure-fire way of determining a person’s intellectual capacity. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find a way of filtering this kind of stupidity other than unfollowing the person completely.

High-frequency Tweeters

Again, I have no solution for this. You might just have to add them to the from-people-list.


This is by no means an exhaustive list. Your annoyance-threshold may vary. If you have more suggestions, please leave a comment below.

2 Responses to Ridding Twitter of Annoyances

  1. THANK YOU. This is very helpful. 🙂

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