Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Disable notifications at the level of a tweet - suggested Twitter improvement

by @JoBrodie,

Yesterday I had a handful of notifications from slightly iffy accounts that had been favouriting tweets of mine, or tweets I was mentioned in, but with all of these tweets being from several years ago.

The tweets were reasonably popular being retweeted or responded to a few times when they were originally sent. As far as I can tell the purpose of favouriting these tweets now is to get people to notice the account doing the favouriting, a sort of "hey I'm here". Some people will follow / interact, others will ignore or not even notice (I report as spam* and block).

Sometimes one tweet will receive a spate of new favourites. To stop the notifications tab from recording this (not talking about email or web notifications as I got rid of those on day one) the options currently available are to block each account that favourites a tweet, activate the option to show only notifications / mentions from people you follow, or delete the tweet (if it's one of yours).

A suggestion
Allow users to choose to stop receiving notifications about activity on any tweet that they previously sent or were mentioned in (at the level of the tweet, not user). This will not stop replies to the tweet of course (but my experience has been that these bots never reply, they only favourite previously popular tweets).

A separate suggestion (not related to spam bots) for users with tens of thousands of followers
Instead of sending a notification each time someone interacts with a tweet instead do it in batches of 10, 50, 100 etc. That way people still get the information but aren't swamped with constant updates. I'm not affected by this as I don't have tens of thousands of followers, I just get the spam bot interaction instead, but the reason I killed off Google+ was because I couldn't work out how to switch off notifications. It also seemed like nothing much had happened to warrant being notified most of the time so it was the final straw for me ;)

*annoyingly Twitter's phrasing says 'they are posting spam'. In fact they're often not posting anything they're just engaging in spam-like behaviour to get someone's attention.

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Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).