Twitter announced that it is testing a way to remove a follower without blocking them. Here’s how Twitter Support described this feature in a Tweet:
“We’re making it easier to be the curator of your own followers list. Now testing on the web: remove a follower without blocking them. To remove a follower, go to your profile and click “Followers”, then click the three dot icon and select “Remove this follower”.
Previously, the easiest way to remove a follower was to block them, and then unblock them. Doing so would remove the follower. Twitter must have noticed that people were doing that to get rid of followers that were strangers who tweeted some really bad takes.
Twitter provided a screenshot that shows what happens when you remove a follower through the new feature. A box appears that asks: “Remove this follower?” It tells the person that the follower they want to remove won’t be notified by Twitter that they have been removed. Twitter also clarifies that the removed follower could follow you again in the future.
If you have a private account, (also called protected tweets) you can go through the same process to remove an unwanted follower. If they notice, and try to follow you again – they cannot automatically do it. Protected accounts put up a barrier and give the person who owns the account time to decide whether or not to let someone follow them.
The Verge reported that the Remove Follower feature is more of a remote unfollow button, “a gentler way to create some distance between you and someone else on Twitter.” The Verge also pointed out that, previously, the only way to remove a follower was with a “soft block” (blocking and then unblocking them again).
I think the ability to curate your followers – and remove the problematic ones – is a good idea. People change over the years, and your interests may no longer match the interests of some of your followers. It is also a good way to remove the friend or family member who Tweets misinformation from sketchy websites. Send them on their way!