Q. Help! I have a work colleague who is on Twitter constantly, tweeting about his kids’ softball games, his golf scores and what he had for lunch. I’ve never read a tweet of his that interested me at all. I can’t unfollow him, I tried that once but he found out and was pretty mad about it.
Is there any way to remove this guy’s tweets from my Twitter stream without unfollowing him? I’m almost ready to give up on Twitter, this guy is so annoying.
A. Great question. You’re not alone, people can have very different views of what is “tweet-worthy”. In an ideal world you’d be able to follow only the people whose tweets truly interested you.
Sometimes we have to follow people on Twitter for reasons having nothing to do with our interest in their tweets. They may be a work colleague, friend, neighbor or customer who would get upset if they found out you unfollowed them. Services such as Who Unfollowed Me make it easier for you to get caught unfollowing people.
Muting People on Twitter
Twitter has introduced a feature that lets you mute people so you don’t see their tweets. If you mute someone on Twitter you won’t see their tweets but they can still see your tweets. The good news is they won’t know that they’re muted — your Twitter stream will be free of their tweets and they won’t have a clue.
How to Mute Someone on Twitter
Muting someone on Twitter is easy. You can mute someone from their Twitter profile or from one of their tweets from your computer, phone or tablet.
From their profile:
Click on the Gear icon and click Mute @username. That person is now muted and you won’t see their tweets.
From a tweet:
Click on the three dots below the tweet and choose Mute @username from the drop-down menu.
Why You Would Mute Someone
Besides wanting to clear your Twitter stream of uninteresting tweets from friends, you may have other reasons to mute someone on Twitter:
Events — If one of your favorite tweeps is live tweeting an event you’re not interested in, you can mute them during the event.
Avoid spoilers — If you’re not able to watch a sporting event, season finale of a TV series, etc., you may want to mute people who are tweeting about what’s happening.
⇒ See, How to Block Spoilers from Ruining Your TV Fun! for more ways to block spoilers.
Twitter Chats — If one of your tweeps is actively involved in a Twitter chat, you may want to mute them for an hour to avoid your stream being flooded with their tweets during the chat.
Spammy Spammers — If you do a search for a popular #hashtag, you may find a spammer uses that tag to send out spammy tweets. You can mute that spammer so your search results don’t show that spammer’s tweets.
Testing — If you’re finding a person’s tweets less interesting you could try muting them to see if you’re missing out on anything. If you change your mind and want to see their tweets again you can unmute them without them knowing.
Ranting — Some people go off on rants on Twitter, posting tweets to get their issue out there and then go back to normal tweeting. You can mute that person until their rant is over.
What Else You Need to Know about Muting
You can see whether you muted someone by going to their Twitter profile. A mute symbol will appear next to the gear icon.
To unmute someone, click on the red mute symbol on their profile page.
You can mute someone temporarily. Just be sure to go back to their Twitter profile and un-mute them.
If you mute someone but still follow them, they can send you a Direct Message on Twitter.
You’ll still receive notifications of replies and mentions of your @username by people you’ve muted.
Muting works in the present and future. Past tweets of people you’ve muted will still appear in your Twitter stream.
Have you ever wanted to mute someone on Twitter? Have you ever been caught unfollowing someone? What reasons do you have for muting people? Do you wish there were a mute button in real life? Let us know in the Comments section below!