Cease and desist: 10 bad Twitter practices to be stopped immediately!

This is a post by Novel Publicity President, Emlyn Chand

Twitter is awesome. It’s a great way to connect with people who share your interests, an easy way to keep them updated about your goings-on, and just all-around good fun. But there’s a downside too. Some seriously spammy and irksome practices have emerged.

Several weeks back, I wrote a blog post called “10 Facebook statuses to avoid, 10 to embrace.” People seemed to really enjoy the article and requested a follow-up covering how not to tweet. Well, this is that article.

The following are things that really annoy me when it comes to Twitter usage. These practices might not irritate others, but chances are they do. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post to add to my list. I’d be more than happy to post a follow-up article!

Here goes…


True Twit Validation Service

I HATE True Twit Validation. I’ve gone on rants about it before. True Twit is annoying and sneaky. It’s not a problem I have to deal with anymore, because I’ve turned off email alerts and no longer check my DMs (to be discussed later in the post at length). But when I was a newbie to Twitter, I’d get several emails per day, stating I had to follow a link and enter a RECAPTCHA to verify such and such user. Who has the time for that? True Twit also says, “hey, open an account with us and you won’t have to verify people anymore.” But guess what? If you do that, then YOU send out these annoying messages to everyone who tries to follow you. At first, Twitter newbs might diligently perform the task, but eventually, they too will grow frustrated and quit validating their follows with True Twit. If you have this service activated on your account, it will cripple your following. Not a good practice.



Who.Unfollowed.Me is another app that I seriously hate. Do you ever get those @ mentions:  “@novelpublicity @emlynchand @authorkarma unfollowed me today?” Why on Earth would you want to publicly tweet that? It does nothing of value and makes you look like a loser. Do you think by tweeting that the users will feel bad and follow you back? Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I wish I could unfollow you twice for being so annoying.


DM spam

The DM (or Direct Messaging) feature on Twitter is actually really cool. I once used it quite a bit, but no more! When you amass a large following it just becomes too difficult to keep up, because there is so much DM spam circulating. What’s DM spam, you ask? Well, there are the accounts that are hacked and send out messages like “Better read this, it says really bad stuff about you…” and “I laughed when I saw this picture of you…” Then we also have the auto-DMs as well as users who send auto-DM-esque posts but haven’t figured out how to automate. These posts are often silly or boring greetings “Thank you for following me, I look forward to reading your tweets,” “Glad you’re following me! I LOVE TWILIGHT! I’m going to marry Edward one day,” or a link to a book purchase page, blog, or Facebook fan page, telling you to connect with them there. I can’t use the DM feature at all anymore, because it’s too cluttered with all this junk.


Asking people to follow you back

“Hi @novelpublicity I just followed you. Follow me back please! #teamfollowback” Really?! No, I’m not going to follow you back, because that’s obnoxious. A better approach might be:  “@novelpublicity I just discovered your website and really enjoy your advice for writers. Am following you now.” This shows that you are actually interested in making a connection, not just in building your following.


Scheduling redundant posts

There are many really great apps that allow you to schedule posts:  HootSuite, TweetDeck, SocialOomph are just a few of many. There are also RSS feed schedulers like TwitterFeed, NetworkedBlogs, Triberr, and the Tweet Old Post plugin for WordPress. Be mindful of how often you are sending out the same message. Setting an RSS feed to run every half hour or even every hour is way too often. Sending out the same message, announcement, or request over and over again won’t sit well with your tweeps. If you tweet 20 times per day and more than half of that consists of RSS links and repeated announcement-style posts, that’s just not good. Tweeting too many links will also get you flagged by TwitCleaner for misuse.

NOTE:  TwitCleaner is a free app; go check it out now! You can run a scan of your Twitter account and find out if you engage in any spammy behaviors. TwitCleaner will tell you what you’re doing that could be perceived as misuse and how to correct it. You can also use the app to sort through the tweeps you follow and remove the spammers. The app has over a dozen misuse classifications and is a fantastic tool!


Posting tweets to Facebook

Don’t post your tweets to Facebook. Seriously, don’t do it. The tweet and the Facebook status updates are different animals. They’re different lengths, have different looks to the URLs, and most importantly require different post frequency. I can easily tweet around 50 times per day, which is definitely on the high side but is also okay on Twitter. I hardly ever update my Facebook status more than once or twice per day. If someone posted on Facebook 50 times in one day—I don’t care if that someone was my own mother—I’d probably unfriend or unlike ‘em.  Some people have vehemently protested this point, saying it’s okay to post tweets to Facebook in order to save time. Nope, I disagree. Ultimately, it’s your call to make. Personally, I’ve disabled Twitter and all Twitter-related apps on Facebook, so I’m not going to see any of your tweets there anyway. Others might have done the same thing, so that’s something else to consider.


Indecent language

This point is two-fold. First, it’s not a good idea to use overly sexual or profane language on Twitter. Twitter is public access. Your tweets don’t just disappear into the interweb matrix. They live on forever and are searchable. Forever. Consider that. You also can never be too sure who is following you. There could be young children or someone from your personal life like your mother or an old flame. Just be careful about using expletives. If you’re a writer, you have another layer to worry about. Be personable, yes, but be mindful of your grammar too. Making constant spelling errors or resorting to text-speak might not cast you in the best light for potential readers.


Insulting other tweeps

I’ve had people hurl insults at me through Twitter a few times, and I’ve seen it happen to others. That’s not what Twitter is about. You don’t have to like everything everybody says, but you shouldn’t start a public battle either. If you really feel the need to be heard, try to find the person’s email address or send a DM, but don’t @mention them and then start your tirade. This is against the spirit of Twitter, and it makes you look like a jerk. If you find yourself the subject of an attack, try to ignore it (I know that’s hard).


#FF and #WW chains

This one probably surprises many of you. What Novel Publicity doesn’t like Writer Wednesday and Follow Friday? It seems like exactly the time of thing they’d like! Yeah, it seems like it. And I actually really like getting #WWs and #FFs that are written just to me or to Novel Publicity. Tweets like “#FF @novelpublicity their article on how to set-up a Facebook page changed my life! Lots of awesome advice on their site.” I almost always respond to these tweets with a thank you and throw an #FF back at the tweep who sent it. These heartfelt Twitter testimonials are very touching. What I don’t like is this: “#FF @novelpublicity @emlynchand @authorkarma @novelducky @etc,” but this is what I see the most. Just giant chains of Twitter user IDs with an #FF tacked on. I’m sorry, but that’s spam, people! Tell me you disagree, I dare you 🙂


Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book!

Yes, I saved this one for the end, because you all knew it was coming. Too many authors assume it’s okay to constantly spam people with requests to buy their books. Why would anyone listen to you unless you try to build a relationship with them first? Twitter is about interaction. It can be a powerful sales tool, yes. But your efforts aren’t going to be very effective unless you build real relationships. There are a lot of cool people on Twitter. Get to know some of them, why donthca?

While I was writing this article, I was tweeting. I’ve asked my tweeps to tell me why they hate it when someone tweets BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK, BUY MY BOOK. I leave you with their responses.

LorcaDamon:  If you're a writer, tweet clever, profound things. THEN I'll check your profile to see if you have a book for sale!

AuthorAPrice:  I hate it because 1. I'm not their target audience, 2. It makes them seem 1-dimensional, & 3. Who honestly *likes* spam?

LindsEBrown:  There's a big difference between personal branding & narcissism.#whybuymybookgetsannoying

vBartles:  I recently “unfollowed” someone who kept tweeting “buy my book” because I felt like she had nothing else to say. I skip commercials on tv with my dvr. I don't want them on twitter! I prefer when someone else recommends a book.

Cecilia_Ryan:  Because if you can't say something more intelligent than ‘BUY MY BOOK', it's clearly not interesting enough to pay for.

EliaHawthorne:  It reminds me of the “headon” commercial that no one likes. I don't like being yelled at; the book should speak for itself.

EvangelineHan:  I hate it when authors do that because it isn't professional behavior. No self-respecting author would do that, IMO.

OceanDog:  How many bestsellers r sold via twitter? Repeated ‘BUY MY BOOK' & ‘READ MY BLOG' tweets r spam, desperate & self defeating.

Grmarlow:  I hate it because it's not like I forgot the person had a book since the last time I saw a tweet about it.


Emlyn Chand, President of Novel PublicityAbout this post's author:

Emlyn Chand is the president of Novel Publicity and a YA author. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her first novel Farsighted released in late 2011 and is of the YA genre. Learn more about Emlyn at www.emlynchand.com or by connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or GoodReads.

Rodolfo Grimaldi

I don’t disagree with you, Mrs. Chand. I hate all the apps you hate. But I think you only don’t like the #FF and #WW “chains”. I know the reasons, they may be too many at a time, covering some real communicating mentions, they imply sometimes for you to do them, which can be time consuming, and you are too busy, etc. But they’re good. In a way or another, they started to send some real people followers to your streams. Not anymore, I have to admit, :). Anyway, I still do them, as a measure of respect for the people who took the effort, :).

    Emlyn Chand

    Thanks for commenting, Rodolfo. You’re right. I only dislike the chains that string a bunch of @mentions with #WW or #FF. I really like seeing recommendations for only one or two users with the reason why they are being recommended 🙂

    Andy Hollandbeck

    #FF and #WW are really great tools for hooking people up. But people don’t want to know only whom to follow, but why. That’s why the chains don’t work. If you feel the urge to make a #WW or #FF chain, just create a Twitter list and then link to the list. If we’re interested, we can browse the bios there and choose tweeps to follow.

      Emlyn Chand

      Excellent tip, Andy. Thank you 🙂 I need to write a post about lists one of these days. If you’d like to tackle the subject, you are hereby formally invited to guest post for the NP blog 🙂

Lorca Damon

Ugh…I’m guilty of a few of these! Thanks for the explanations! Some seem like common sense, but others were a little eye-opening. I’ve participated in #WW and #FF because it seemed like the polite thing to do for others who had included me, but now that I think about it, I can’t ever remember following someone from a long list of #FFs. I do follow people based on that personalized recommendation you mentioned…

    Emlyn Chand

    The secret. I’m guilty of a few of them too (or have been in the past). It’s hard to run a perfect Twitter game, but there’s a lot to be said for trying!

Cecilia Ryan

The other thing that annoys me is posting Facebook status updates to Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are and should be for different audiences, and recycling the same content on both is hardly the mark of a creative person.

    Emlyn Chand

    I definitely agree with you on this point, but it seems many people don’t! Sigh…


I personally hate spam DM’s along the lines of: ‘like/follow me on FaceBook,’ er no, I don’t like FB and avoid it if possible. ‘I saw this picture of you and it made me laugh,’go the heck away spammer, ‘hi my name is XYZ plus Bio,’ I already read it, it’s why I followed you in the first place.

I never follow TrueTwit links, my reasoning being either lock your account if you want to filter your followers or use the block and report function.

The #teamfollow back tweeters are the bane of my life, at one point I had one follower who did nothing for 12 hours but tweet names with team follow back, I blocked them in the end. When it comes down to it I want to interact with people on twitter.

Who unfollowed me is a very useful app, I do use it to check who’s following and who isn’t but I don’t tweet the results, as that says you look like a loser and it makes the other person feel bad, not what I want.

I enjoy twitter very much and like talking to people, the amountof spammers does spoil it on occasion.

    Emlyn Chand

    Thanks for sharing, Vic. I’m glad to hear that Who.Unfollowed.Me doesn’t force tweet announcements. I don’t really monitor my unfollows, but I do have a Formulist that keeps track of them. Just never look!

Vanessa Chapman

Thanks Emlyn, I enjoyed that, and I’m glad to say that I don’t think I do any of those things!

As an expansion of your ‘#FF and #WW chains’ heading, I would add that any tweets which are so full of @s and #s that you can’t even understand what they’re tweeting about really irritate me. Those tweets scream of desperation to be followed, retweeted, or to show up in a search. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be followed, retweeted or to show up in a search, but at least have something interesting or funny to say with it!

    Emlyn Chand

    You’re absolutely right. #WW and #FF are the number one offenders, but there are other exercises that are overly hashtagged and @mentioned (yeah, they’re verbs now).

Anthony Deaver

I’m okay with #ff and #ww when they include a reason they think the person is worth following. But when it is just a hashtag and a bunch of usernames with nothing else… no thanks. Otherwise I agree with everything except the Twitter -> Facebook. I hate FB and refuse to login / post there unless I have to. I cross-post to FB just to stay (marginally) active there since it’s the only place I’m connected to some people and don’t feel like posting in 2 places.

Lately I’ve linked my G+ to both twitter and FB (and unlinked twitter to FB).

To many places to keep up with…

    Emlyn Chand

    I haven’t tied anything into G+ yet, but it’s no small secret that Google+ is my *favorite* social network. So much more valuable interaction there!

Lenny Fultz

I agree with “most” of what you say. I don’t ask people to follow me, and I don’t care who unfollows me. I try to be nice to others and hope for the same courtesy. I don’t send or respond to DMs, but I won’t drop someone just because they do. I admit that I’m basically a Twitter newb, but common sense will get you far in anything you do. I don’t mind the #FF and #WW chains, and I do them myself occasionally. I don’t mind stringing a bunch together, but I don’t do it for just any random follower of mine, I usually do it to promote good people/writers that I enjoy their friendship and/or tweets. I don’t have time to send a personalized #WW to everyone.

Let’s face it, for most writers, Twitter is tool just like a keyboard, dictionary, or Thesaurus. In most blogs about marketing strategies, they ALL say to use Twitter to promote your books. And I do this. Obviously, no one wants to be spammed to death, so I try and only promote my book(s) 2 or 3 times a week. If that makes someone want to drop me, bye-bye! In most cases, especially once you have a significant number of followers, the screen goes by so fast that most people will miss your tweets anyway. I only pop on for a few minutes a day. All the hundreds or thousands of tweets that went by while I was gone are gone forever. I’m not going to go back and look them up. So, if someone promoted their book a bit too much while I was gone, who cares? Some people take this stuff way too seriously. We’re not talking about brain surgery, we’re talking about a social network. Bottom line: no matter what you say or do, there will always be someone else who doesn’t like it.

One last comment: I see *Novel Publicity is a great resource for writers* spammed on Twitter and Facebook as much as anything else. I’ve done it myself for the Friday Karmic Liking Chain. Don’t get me wrong, Novel Publicity *is* a great resource for writers, but if we’re going to call a spade a spade…?

    Emlyn Chand

    Hi, Lenny. Thanks for your comment. Of course, I’m not suggesting that one NEVER attempt to promote their books, just do it sparingly and stay sociable while on social media.

    The karmic chain phrase on Facebook was implemented to help protect the participants from landing in Facebook jail and also to serve as a mark of who’s actively participating and who isn’t. I originally wanted to have the post read something like “I’m participating in Karmic Friday and promise to get and give likes,” but some people didn’t feel comfortable with that, so we kept it general.

    I’m the first to admit that we don’t follow all the rules all the time, but we certainly try! I’m very mindful of spamming our followers. Do onto others…


As a new tweep (new word of the day for me) I appreciate this post. It will help me from falling into the evil twitter traps.

    Emlyn Chand

    You’re welcome, tweep! Hey, I’m a southpaw too – represent 😀

Kristy K. James

Whew, good. I always forget the #ww. And when I remember the #FF, I always groan because it’s a pain in the butt to go through my list, write down a bunch of names and then type it on my status update. It was one of those Twitter things I just ‘didn’t get.’ However I DO get the “@whoever BECAUSE…” Thanks, Emlyn! 🙂

    Emlyn Chand

    Always glad to shed some light on Twitter’s many intricacies. At first I felt bad about bowing out of #ww and #ff, but now I don’t really care 😛

Paul Hamilton

Not every bit of advice you posit here is guilty of this, but a huge portion of this list reads just like a bunch of Twitter pet peeves. Aside from the actual advice about keeping it clean, avoiding confrontations (which are just best practices for online presence building anyway), and the nice tip about TwitCleaner, every single one of these “bad” practices is a personal preference. All of them can be filtered through judicious use of the Unfollow/Block features.

The extent of the valuable advice in this article comes from LorcaDamon: If you’re a writer, tweet clever, profound things.

    Emlyn Chand

    I agree that Lorca’s statement is wonderful. And yes, much of this spam can be avoided through filters (but certainly not all of it). I hope this article will help users who engage in some of these behaviors to reassess and stop doing things that might get them unfollowed or blocked. Some of these may be personal preferences (I especially think posting tweets to Facebook and engaging in #WW chains may be argued by some people), but I’ve talked to many others who agree with the issues raised. All might not agree, but many do, and that’s something worth considering.

    John Corwin

    This may be a list of pet peeves, but they’re likely very widely-held pet peeves and, IMO, practices to avoid.

    I’m hopeful that anyone guilty of these twitter sins will see this and reevaluate spammy behavior.

    As for #WW and #FF–those are warm, fuzzy things to participate in. But I agree that it’s far more meaningful to do this with recommendations and not to fulfill a quota of mentioning your tweeps.

      Emlyn Chand

      Thanks for jumping in, CORWINATOR! I always value your opinions – you’re just awesome like that. And this list was developed with the help of my tweeps, so I’m not shouting in a vacuum here. No sirree 😛

Devin O'Branagan

I agree with most of your points. The two rules I do break are “buy my book” and “redundancy.” As a writer, I’m sure I can do better with the redundancy, but I have noticed on days I don’t promote myself, both my book sales and website traffic fall precipitously. So, I’m not sure what the solution might be. The reason I enjoy Twitter is to learn about new books, new blogs, new websites, etc., and if those I follow didn’t engage in shameless self-promotion, I would miss out.

Thanks for your post. I, um, tweeted a link to it!

    Emlyn Chand

    Hi Devin! I responded to you on G+, but I’ll tell you here too: If you have advice about how to tweet BUY MY BOOK without being annoying and spammy and in a way that actually helps sales, by all means, please (I beg of you), submit a guest post to our blog 🙂

    Submission details are at http://www.novelpublicity.com/guest-post

      Devin O'Branagan

      Thanks for the invitation! I’d be happy to put something together. 🙂


As someone who is new to twitter I am still trying to figure out what is appropriate. I don’t want to be obnoxious and yet at the same time I have a project up on Kickstarter that needs support. It’s definitly a balancing act.

    Emlyn Chand

    It’s definitely a balancing act, yes. Especially once you get involved in several social media sites. Welcome to the Twitter party, Bridget 🙂

Monica Marier

Well posted. I too hate most of these taboos. I’ve been guilty of a few of them. As an Author the “buy my book” notices get pretty ramped up when a new book comes out.

In response to your “what isn’t spamming?” quesiton I offer the following:

a) Post a link very rarely, like once a week. Sometimes I DO forget which of my friends has a book out and a subtle and rare reminder will get me to go to their store and download a copy!

b) Offer sneak previews on your blog, I’m way more likely to click on “Sneak Preview of my new book” that has a subtle link to the amazon listing at the bottom

c)(This one’s particularly sneaky) Post, “Read my latest book? Leave a comment/review on Amazon!” It doesn’t sound so much like plugging. Again, use sparingly. If you haven’t JUST launched a title, book spamming is pretty annoying if it’s more than once every few days.

I generally judge potential follows by their thread. If most of their thread is links, I don’t follow back, BUT if they seem to have genuine thoughts and duscussion between the occasional link, I’ll give them a chance.

    Emlyn Chand

    Yes, absolutely! It’s okay to do the BUY MY BOOK thing *occasionally* especially with a new release. But keep it occasional, gosh darn it! I also post excerpts on my blog which my RSS sends out whenever there’s a new post and my @triberr tribe tweets those too.

    It’s always good if you can have someone else encouraging others to check out your book, and by being a sociable and awesome tweep, that’s much more likely to happen 😉

Sharayah Pranger

THANK YOU FOR THIS. I hate to unfollow people, especially writers because I really like to help them out when I can, but when they tweet about NOTHING but their book/blog, that doesn’t make me interested in their writing at ALL. I follow a few writers who post witticisms and funny thoughts all day long (as well as actually engaging) and those are the ones I want to support!

    Emlyn Chand

    You’re welcome, Sharayah. You’re one of my favorite support-system tweeps. So glad to have you in my twittersphere 🙂


Great article, Emlyn, and good advice!

    Emlyn Chand

    Hi Kate. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the article 🙂

Katherine Bayless

Personally, I don’t mind seeing the #WW and #FF chains because I’m relatively new to Twitter. I often click on the Twitter handles to see if they are people I might be interested in following. However, I can see that this practice might be annoying to people, especially those who aren’t looking to build their Twitter community in this way.

Before I read this post, I had taken to thanking my new followers on Fridays in this manner because I thought that was the point of #FF and I wanted to be polite. Since you’ve raised this as being a potential peeve, I’m wondering how I can thank people for following me. Which is better? 25 individual thank you tweets throughout the week? Or 4 tweets with 6 or so twitter handles in each one? Or should I just stop thanking people for following me? Perhaps this isn’t considered necessary. (This is a time consuming process, especially in the weeks that I receive over 20 followers, but I’m happy to do it if it’s considered proper etiquette.)

Your advice is appreciated!

    Emlyn Chand

    Hi, Katherine, and welcome to Twitter 🙂

    I know so people who do like to thank new followers–some by DM, some by @mention. I personally don’t find this necessary (but I have 4 accounts with the largest having 12,000 followers and the smallest having 4,000, so it would be incredibly time-consuming). If you do want to say “hi” to your new tweeps. Make it personal. Don’t just say “thanks for following me” or some other generic line. Say “hey @emlynchand I love your bio. Were you really born with a fountain pen in your hand?” That shows you’ve paid attention and are trying to make a genuine connection. Stringing @mentions together does not.

Valerie Ormond

Thanks, Emlyn, for another great post. As I read through some of the comments, I wanted to offer the following for others, who may not have followed you as long as I have. Social media changes DAILY. What seemed to be an acceptable practice a few months ago, now may no longer seem acceptable today. I think your DM example demonstrates this well. What Novel Publicity offers is CURRENT opinions and advice, not rules chiseled in stone. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, and will do with the advice what I do with all advice – see what I can learn, what I agree and disagree with, and apply accordingly. Have a great #WW. 🙂 -Valerie

    Emlyn Chand

    Thanks, Valerie. Like you said, the rules are always changing. When I first started Twitter, I did the #ff chains. I also did auto-DMs back in the day, but I’ve reassessed what the rules are and changed my tweeting accordingly 🙂

Paige Kellerman

Great post! I agree with all of your points. I don’t mind the #WW or #FF chains, but my rule of thumb is I make a chain of the people who have interacted with me personally that week, and then I send it out as a nod their way. Personalization is key on Twitter…:)

    Emlyn Chand

    You’re absolutely right. Participation is key! It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason 😉

nigel bird

I enjoyed the post and have come across moans I haven’t even thought about yet.

In the main, my only issue with Twitter is that I don’t get enough time to enjoy it. As with everything, there are things that irritate, but there are so many great folk to follow and things flash by so quickly, I find it’s best not to find fault but to move quickly on.


    Emlyn Chand

    Yes, I try to ignore the annoying people and engage with the fun ones, but sometimes there are so many annoying people, you miss out on the ones you actually want to talk with! An example would be the DM spam drowning out any legitimate DM messages I might receive. I can’t use the feature at all any more 🙁

Vanessa Wu

Nice one, Emlyn. I have a feeling most of the people your comments are addressed to won’t read them because they have their twitter on autopilot and are busy right now checking their sales figures (again!). Do you think it’s the case though, that, some of them are actually selling a lot of books? Some people can become widely known through being obnoxious. Aren’t you even a little bit tempted to check out their books?

    Emlyn Chand

    Am I curious? Not at all. I sometimes get curious about a book I see on Facebook. Sometimes. I often get curious about a book I see on GoodReads. I never get curious about a book I see on Twitter. Maybe that’s just me, but seeing an image of the book cover really helps 🙂

Stuart Whitmore

Thumbs up on all of these — and thanks for the link to Twit Cleaner, I wasn’t familiar with that one before. Running my scan now, as it says. 🙂

    Emlyn Chand

    Good to hear! I run TwitCleaner regularly to clean out spammy tweets. It just gets too hard as your following grows. Gotta time manage 😉

Harlow Coban

I saw your post just as I was contemplating doing one or two things on your list of no-nos. Yikes! Great post. Thanks!

    Emlyn Chand

    That’s what we’re here for. We’re like the geeky hall monitor kids that everyone has to listen to 😉

Nina Badzin


This was great and I agree with every one of them. One I harp on a lot in my own Twitter “don’t” posts is the constant thanking tweets that are really just poor disguised tweets NOT about the person we are thanking. For example: “Thanks to @NinaBadzin for RTing my post about prologues https://xyzxyx.” See what I mean? Ick.

The other is I HATE being tweeted AT. Like this: “Hey @NinaBadzin, come see what we’re discussing on the WritersRus blog today https://blahblahblach.com.” Then you look on the person’s timeline and it’s like 10 tweets like that to different people. And these people are real writers/bloggers–NOT spammer. But they are being SO spammy.

Anyway, long of saying I loved this post. Well dome! Going to tweet it NOW.

    Emlyn Chand

    Excellent additions, Nina. Those thank you tweets are the worst! Uck 😛


I agree with this partly. I rather like who.unfollowed.me. But it depends how you use it. And fowl language, I find worse in YouTube comments. If it’s clear youre an adult and will tweet as such then you shouldn’t need to censor yourself for others. Just don’t be stupid about it.

though the follow Friday i hate. It’s suppose to be one person in a tweet and a good reason why to follow. These chains of names I hate and I always tell my followers to not put me in them.

    Emlyn Chand

    I’m glad to hear that Who.Unfollowed.Me has a good side. I don’t use it, so I only ever see the tweets. I feel like these should be changed to something generic without @mentions like “I just found out which followers I lost using who.unfollowed.em” or something like that.

Eliabeth Hawthorne

I’m only half guilty of #FF chains. I do put more than one name per Tweet, but I put more than the name, like “Helpful agents who Tweet you back @mention @mention @mention” “Authors whose books I’m liked @mention @mention @mention.” That way people know why I think that group of people is worth following. I may have to change that now to one though.

    Emlyn Chand

    Eliabeth, what you do still sounds okay. At least you’re providing some context for the tweep chain 🙂

Si Dawson

Hey Emlyn

First – Thanks for mentioning Twit Cleaner!

Love the post. You hit the nail on the head in so many different ways. I couldn’t agree more.

DM spam – yeah, that’s a big one, I’m thinking someone should do something about that.. hmmm.. 🙂

Glad you like Twit Cleaner & find it helpful. I’ll continue to do everything I can to make it faster, better & shinier.

[Twit Cleaner Creator]

    Emlyn Chand

    Wow! Thanks for stopping by, Si 🙂

    I’ve been a fan of Twit Cleaner for a very long time. This is actually my second time mentioning it in a blog post. I also gushed in the blog about 5 Twitter unfollow apps and why you need to use them.

    I’m thinking of starting a Twitter app spotlight on this blog, which will provide an overview of the app and an interview with its founder. Would you be interested in getting interviewed for this?

    I’d love to have you!

Marie Marshall

1. Stop using Twitter or, if you never have, don’t bother.

2. Stop imagining that it is in any way cool to let people know what you’re doing minute-on-minute. It isn’t. It is the shallowest kind of intimacy propagated by the poorest mode of expression.

I know, I know, I know… but I’m cussed, awkward, antisocial, and have a bloody peculiar sense of humour.

Yours aye,
Marie Marshall

    Emlyn Chand

    To each her own, Marie. But Twitter isn’t just full of static status updates and announcements. We have lots of group discussions there. The real value of interaction lies in bringing the friends you make on Twitter to another (less character-restricted) platform: Google+, Facebook, email. I’ve made almost all my writer friends first through Twitter, and my business grew straight out of Twitter. It quite literally changed my life 🙂

Petra Hoyer Millar

This made me laugh, you are quite right. Your best point has to be the true twit validations service, which is a complete waste of everyone’s time. My twitter inbox is full of unanswered ones because I just can’t be bothered. And I certainly hate the ‘follow me because I followed you’, which just has the opposite effect. Just pathetic!

    Emlyn Chand

    Thanks, Petra. I’m happy my advice is both informative and entertaining. Huzzah! (Yeah, I’m a big ol’ dork)

Joanne Clancy

Helpful article, thank you. I finally discovered the mean of #ff 🙂

Ann Elise Monte

I use who.unfollowed.me to find out people who unfollowed me who I followed back in the first place simply out of courtesy. That way I can find the people who just mass-follow others so they’ll get people following them back before unfollowing the person they followed. Man, that’s a mouthful. I don’t tweet my findings, though. I’m enough of a loser already without the extra help.

Jane George

Like Ann Elise, I find Who.Unfollowed.Me very helpful. You can track back and see if a particular post cost you followers and then ponder upon why. I would never check the box that tweets your unfollows though. It’s also helpful because Twitter will sometimes bump off a Follower on its own accord. That’s happened a couple of times and enabled me to contact that person. (I was fairly certain they still wanted to follow me, lol.)

Automatic DM’s are my pet peeve. grrr

Jane George

Oh, and on the no Twiiter to Facebook point –

I’m an administrator on a ballet foundation page, and was told my tweets were landing on that page. Mortifying, I tell you. And I immediately severed the Twitter – Facebook interface.

David L Nelson

I had someone dm me with who unfollowed, so I said of course I did, you never say anything but who followed/unfollowed you. That means you’re not going anywhere, so why would I follow you? Of course, had I read this first, I would not have insulted him. Thank you for this post by the way, I do appreciate being led to being a better marketer and a better writer.


Hi Emlyn. Thanks for this useful advice. I’m new to blogging and only signed up for Twitter because so many blog tip sites recommended it, so I’m still learning the dos and dont’s. I too find those chains of @mentions annoying. The #FF ones are bad enough, but I have (briefly) followed a number of people who just post chains of @mentions without any hashtags. I’d rather have conversations with people and see what they have to say, so yes a more personal recommendation is much more useful than a twitter handle by itself. It’s all about context.

rachael mcgimpsey

I enjoyed reading this, it was insightful. I hate the buy me rants and it makes me not want to look at anything they did write.

What is your take on sarcasm? Personally, if both parties are on the same page and are not easily offended, I do not have a problem with it. The problem is that I start obsessing whether or not I went too far this time? But, usually I get a snappy comeback from the other user which urges me on. I try to be sassy but not overly mean.

    Emlyn Chand

    Be yourself. If your online persona is a sarcastic firecracker, be a sarcastic firecracker!

D Michelle gent

I’m relatively new to Twitter so this information is useful and informative, thank you.

I read through the article with a great deal of relief, thinking “I don’t do that…” thankfully.

Thanks again.


So many of these are huge bugbears with me. The ones I detest most are:

1. This person unfollowed me and I know who you are. What is that? Some kind of threat? Naming and shaming? Are you so egomaniacal that you think that everyone cares that someone had the temerity to unfollow you? I think this is nothing short of bullying and mind-games. People may think it’s ok but it’s sinister in my books.

2. I have x amount of followers and I want more, can you RT? No bugger off and just for your sheer desperation I’m going to unfollow. It’s not a popularity contest, these people aren’t your friends, you just want to boost your numbers.

3. Get this trending/let’s RT – this person has this illness donate or you deserve to forever burn in hell. Ok maybe they don’t say quite that but it’s not far off. It’s another form of bullying. I don’t go on twitter to be harassed by people trying to make me feel awful because I can’t donate or for whatever reason, and trust me, sometimes I do feel bad because I’m a compassionate human being but then I remember, I have no money: I’m a poor student, who is living below the breadline, with my own health issues (albeit non-terminal). I just want to talk to my friends without the emotional blackmail.

4. Slacktivism. Let’s get this person: e.g. Kony campaign. I detest the faux outrage that is prevalent on twitter and facebook. One day people are outraged, horrified, disgusted, demanding vengeance and the next day something else comes along and all those words melt away and they forget about it, but hey it made them feel like they were doing something – covering themselves in glory for 2 minutes and not bothering their backsides to get up and do anything about it. As long as they don’t have to move outside their door, it’s all good. The usual response is, “but we’re doing our bit and highlighting the issue”. Yes, for two seconds but the men in charge know that you’ll get bored because you have the keyboard equivalent of ADHD and it all gets buried among the million other campaigns out there. I have nothing but huge admiration for people who actually get off their backsides and do something or for people who, even online dedicate themselves to a cause, but anyone can write something just to salve their consciences.

6. Followers who are just trying to plug something – I mean, it’s all they do, no engaging their audience. Detest it. Immediate unfollow. I hate that initial DM of someone you followed, introducing themselves and linking to their product – unless I have followed a charity.

I know this makes me seem like a grumpy, uncaring person, but as I said I detest bullying, intimidation, emotional blackmail and sheer vanity.

    Emlyn Chand

    Great list here, Heather. These are things people need to know! If you’d like to expand ever so slightly and submit this rant as a guest post to our blog, we’d love to have it! 😀

Jennifer Golub

I really hate the validation as well – and I won’t follow someone that requires it.
I used to cleaner and I’m good – yay! but have a ton of people with bad habits on my follow list. I did have my stuff going to facebook – but decided to take it off after reading your post. I don’t want to annoy followers. 🙂 Thanks for this brilliant list.

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