Twit Cleaner, Sort Out The Garbage Among Your Twitter Followers

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 11, 2011
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Internet, Twitter

I have started using Twitter more regularly in past weeks. Trying to get a good solid message out every day now which links to an interesting news piece. Most of my messages do not link to Ghacks, but to technology news that I find interesting but cannot post about on Ghacks.

I just stumbled upon Twit Cleaner over at David Bradley's blog on the Internet which analyses all the people that you follow on Twitter to sort out the garbage (their terminology).

The service uses OAuth for authorization so that you do not have to give them direct access to your Twitter account login. Your account is also automatically set to follow them, and they will follow you for reporting and support reasons. It is necessary to keep following them at least until the report has been generated. It is then up to you whether you want to unfollow them.

It took a few seconds to generate the report for my Twitter account, but that is probably due to the fact that I'm following less than 20 or so Twitter users. David mentioned that he had to wait about 20 minutes before all of the 2056 Twitter users he followed were scanned.

The program generates a nice summary in the end that sorts Twitter users into groups like "potentially dodgy behavior", "no activity in over a month", "all talk all the time" or "not so interesting".

Below the summary is a list of all Twitter users that have been sorted into one of the groups. You can jump directly to a certain type of users.

The users are then displayed with their profile photo and name.


A click on the photo sends that user to the unfollow queue which is then processed in a natural manner.

It definitely pays to double-check the Twitter accounts that are identified by Twit Cleaner as "potentially garbage". Depending on the number of users that you follow, this verification step may take some time.

Twit Cleaner's approach is quite unique, and from what I can tell, works quite well. It does not really make sense to run the service if you only have a few dozens or so Twitter users that you follow, like I do. This changes once that counts reaches hundreds or thousands of users that you follow, as it is likely that at least some of them are not providing useful contents on Twitter.


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  1. Si Dawson said on August 12, 2011 at 11:31 am

    hey Martin

    Thanks for writing about Twit Cleaner.

    You are correct, it can take quite some time to generate a report. The amount of data we have to collect from Twitter can get quite stupendous – and of course, their servers only operate at a certain pace.

    As you point out, Twit Cleaner does become a lot more helpful the larger your account. The difference it can make to your Twitter experience generally has to be experienced to be believed. Every time I use it I enjoy Twitter more & more (always a pleasant surprise to find your own code enjoyable, after all the hours working on it) – as my signal-to-noise ratio gets ever higher. That said, most people find it quite enlightening even just to see how the accounts they’re following are assessed.

    Oh, and if you do make any mistakes unfollowing, you can just click the icon again to refollow them. I’ve made the whole experience as super simple as I possibly can.

    Kind Regards

    Si Dawson
    [Creator of Twit Cleaner]

  2. B. Moore said on August 11, 2011 at 10:40 am

    ok i see what you are doing but still don’t understand why…?…?

    I have never seen a blog constantly “forget” to add a link to the service/application that they are talking about in the blog post.

    It happens way to frequently here at Ghackz for it to be an accident/mistake.

    sorry Ghackz just callin what I see.,,,

    so how about a link to the service??

    instead of me having to click through to at least 1 (if not 2) more blogs reviewing the service.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

      Sorry for that, the link has been added.

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