How useful is Twitter's new "Soft Blocking" feature?

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 13, 2021

Twitter is rolling out a new feature on the web version of the service that enables users to soft block followers. Basically, what it allows users of the service to do is remove someone from their list of followers so that the removed user does not receive notifications anymore in their timeline when you post on Twitter.

Compared to blocking, soft blocking does not prevent the removed follower from checking out the profile manually or using contact options to send direct messages to you.

You can check out the new functionality by opening the list of followers on Twitter (by opening your profile on the site first), and then selecting "remove this follower" from the three-dots menu next to their username. Alternatively, you may open the followers page on Twitter, select the three-dots icon on the page and activate the remove this follower option from that page. The latter may be faster, as Twitter's web version does not include an option to find followers quickly.

twitter soft block remove this follower

Twitter displays a prompt when you select the remove this follower option on the site. It reminds users that the removed user may follow again at a later point in time.

remove follower

The main difference between blocking Twitter users and removing followers

Twitter users may block any other user on the platform. Once they do that, the blocked user can't see their tweets anymore, contact them or follow them. A block has an effect on a single account only. Blocking an account will unfollow that account automatically, and Twitter users won't receive notifications anymore if their account is mentioned.

Blocked accounts can't (via):

  1. Follow you
  2. View your Tweets when logged in on Twitter (unless they report you, and your Tweets mention them)
  3. Find your Tweets in search when logged in on Twitter
  4. Send Direct Messages to you
  5. View your following or followers lists, likes or lists when logged in on Twitter
  6. View a Moment you’ve created when logged in on Twitter
  7. Add your Twitter account to their lists
  8. Tag you in a photo

Soft-blocking, or removing a follower, does just that. It removes the user from the list of followers and that means that the removed user won't receive notifications anymore when you post on Twitter. Nothing is keeping the user from following the account again, however.

Soft-blocking is not effective against harassing or stalking Twitter users, unless they pay little attention to their status. Blocking is the only effective option to make sure that contact is not possible anymore on the site (with the blocked account).

Removing a follower may be an useful option for Twitter users who want to clean-up their follower listing.

To answer the title question: soft-blocking is not that useful, at least not when it comes to blocking users.

Now You: do you use Twitter?

How useful is Twitter's new
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How useful is Twitter's new "Soft Blocking" feature?
How useful is Twitter's new soft blocking feature that the service is testing currently on the web version?
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  1. grep said on October 15, 2021 at 2:24 am

    Twitter is a stunning waste of time. I don’t post there, but if I want to view threads, I use, an open-source privacy-respecting front-end.

  2. Herman Cost said on October 13, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    I could not agree more about Twitter (and Facebook). Delete them, expunge all your data (to the extent they let you), and use browser extensions and containers to keep them from further tracking you. They will certainly try even though you no longer have accounts given their inexhaustible hunger for data and refusal to agree/accept that people have any sort of right to privacy.

    Hopefully, the growing hostility towards their tracking and censorship will lead to major changes in their business models.

  3. ddk said on October 13, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Just to clarify my last comment, I’m referring to the 2 montrosities, Facebook & Twitter.
    And congrats to Captain Kirk (William Shatner) for his real life space ride. 90 y/o too, time flies.
    Sorry for off topic.

  4. ddk said on October 13, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    Stay far, far, far away from any social media & keep your convos private.
    Don’t put yourself “out there’ on any major SM platform, times have changed esp with them and they’re more than willing to ruin your life and career if you post something they deem offensive.
    They snitch on you to government also. Stay Away.

  5. Alex said on October 13, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Twitter is the cesspool of the internet. Everyone would be better off by not using it.

    1. The Bedsheet Ghost said on October 25, 2021 at 8:06 pm

      Replace “Twitter” with “Facebook” or “Reddit” or any other “Social Media Companies” and you get the same results to your sentence

      The internet itself needs to go offline. The world would be a better place without it LOL

  6. Yuliya said on October 13, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    The question should be how useful is twitter. And the answer to that would be that twitter is useless. A waste of resources.

  7. RogerW said on October 13, 2021 at 10:00 am

    The most “useful” thing one can do is delete one’s Twitter account. Deleted mine 10 years back and have never looked back. So glad to no longer be a part of that den of iniquity.

  8. Yash said on October 13, 2021 at 9:31 am

    ‘do you use Twitter?’

    Created an account 8 years ago and deleted it 3 years later. In that time I tweeted just once. Then two months ago I again created one but soon realised it is not for me, as I don’t tweet much to begin with.

    Now I use Fritter which is perfect for me – Just follow some accounts without an account. No notifications, no pressure.

    1. Trey said on October 13, 2021 at 9:39 pm

      Fritter – sounds good I’ll check it out. Hadn’t heard of it. Love 3rd party apps for these kind of things (RIF for Reddit, Freetube and NewPipe for youtube, etc…)

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