Twitter sucks. It’s become a base of operations for bots, sock puppets, astroturf campaigns, and everything else that lets false narratives, blatant lies masquerading as facts, and hateful abuse canons run rampant. It’s like Facebook, but 99% of the accounts set everything to public.
I’ve had issues on Twitter before. At the beginning of this year, I would often find myself spending an hour or more at work angrily responding to accounts that likely weren’t real people. I would go home and reply more on the train. I’d get home and eat dinner while angrily tweeting. I’d be so tired and tense from the anger that I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep.
Eventually, I started to step away from Twitter. I stopped tweeting. I used GoCardigan to delete tweets older than a year, than older than a month. Then I deleted all of my old tweets. I tried to delete all of my likes, but due to how dumb Twitter’s API is, unliking something doesn’t delete it from you list of liked tweets. I wrote my own script and let it run slowly for weeks, adding and then removing every single one of my likes. The number still isn’t 0, but it also doesn’t list any.
Since then, I posted only 2 tweets, linking to my Mastodon and a tool to find Twitter followers on Mastodon. Mastodon hasn’t exploded with growth like many were hoping, but they have gotten roughly a few hundred thousand followers. But it’s more complicated than Twitter and the interface is more busy, so it’ll likely never see mass adoption. Plus the main developer is basically a miniature version of Twitter’s Jack in how he thinks (and how little he cares about minimized voices being harassed out of existence), so it may be a project doomed to fail.
Regardless, I still look at Twitter. I’ve disabled retweets from every one of my followers. Additionally, I’ve installed uBlock Origin (not uBlock, they suck). In uBlock Origin, you can block ads, (some) malware, and elements on webpages. I use it on Twitter to hide most of the UI, including:
- Who To Follow
- Trending Hashtags
- The buttons on every tweet to like, retweet, comment, and share
- The number of follows, followers, liked tweets, and lists on profiles.
- The “Moments Button”
uBlock lets you add elements in a list to block stuff. Here’s mine:
twitter.com##.u-lg-size3of4.u-size2of3.Grid-cell > .Grid--withGutter.Grid > .u-size1of3.Grid-cell > .Grid--withGutter.Grid > .Grid-cell
twitter.com##.stream-item-footer > .js-actions.ProfileTweet-actionList
twitter.com##.js-initial-focus.logged-in.with-social-proof.js-original-tweet.js-actionable-tweet.js-actionable-user.permalink-tweet.tweet > .stream-item-footer > .js-actions.ProfileTweet-actionList
twitter.com##.has-content.permalink-descendant-tweet.descendant.has-cards.dismissible-content.js-profile-popup-actionable.js-actionable-tweet.js-stream-tweet.tweet > .content > .stream-item-footer
twitter.com##.is-active.ProfileNav-item--tweets.ProfileNav-item > .js-nav.js-tooltip.u-textCenter.u-borderUserColor.ProfileNav-stat--link.ProfileNav-stat
twitter.com##.ProfileNav-item--following.ProfileNav-item > .u-textUserColor.js-nav.js-tooltip.u-textCenter.u-borderUserColor.ProfileNav-stat--link.ProfileNav-stat
twitter.com##.ProfileNav-item--followers.ProfileNav-item > .u-textUserColor.js-nav.js-tooltip.u-textCenter.u-borderUserColor.ProfileNav-stat--link.ProfileNav-stat
twitter.com##.ProfileNav-item--favorites.ProfileNav-item > .u-textUserColor.js-nav.js-tooltip.u-textCenter.u-borderUserColor.ProfileNav-stat--link.ProfileNav-stat
twitter.com##.ProfileNav-item--lists.ProfileNav-item > .u-textUserColor.js-nav.js-tooltip.u-textCenter.u-borderUserColor.ProfileNav-stat--link.ProfileNav-stat
twitter.com##.js-moments-tab.moments > .js-dynamic-tooltip.js-tooltip.js-nav