Hey! Where Did My Twitter Auto-Unfollow Go?

When I created the SocialOomph service (it was then known as TweetLater) back in April 2008, one of the first features I added was the ability to automatically unfollow somebody that unfollows you.

That feature has always been part of our Free services, and it has been popular and running non-stop until today.

But, it is now no more. It’s done. It’s kaput. It has been switched off.

Today, May 13th, 2010, a member of Twitter’s Trust and Safety team informed me that the auto-unfollow feature was breaking their automation rules.

And lo and behold, there actually is a one-liner in those rules that says, “Automated un-following is also not permitted.” Either I did not notice that sentence, or Twitter added it into their rules after I last checked that rules page.

But, that’s besides the point.

To comply with their rules, I’ve disabled the auto-unfollow feature on Twitter accounts. You can still auto-unfollow on StatusNet accounts, and it also does not affect any of the other features of the service.

Really sorry for the inconvenience this is causing you.

Dewald Pretorius
Owner of SocialOomph.com

12 thoughts on “Hey! Where Did My Twitter Auto-Unfollow Go?

  1. @philstaudt

    I used to go through and get rid of the people who stop following, because a lot of auto-robots will do mass following, and then automatically unfollow two weeks later. I was able to control that manually when it was easy to see who unfollowed, but then twitter made it tedious to find who unfollowed, and then twitter made it impossible to get past 50 or 100 pages of followers. So I started using dossy.org to whack the bogus accounts that were following and then unfollowing, but twitter stopped them from allowing me to do that. Now, the last thing available was good ol socialoomph. Now I have to turn the auto-follow off again to prevent the dirty tweeters from maxing out my follow capacity.

    Why does Twitter want to be so unfriendly and accommodate the robots?

  2. ken

    thanks dewald. seems that there is more & more control attempting to be exercised. If they are not careful though they will upset as many people as Facebook seem to be doing.

  3. Matt

    They want our participation then make it difficult to use. Yes, I agree with Ken, they are going to upset a lot of us out here. Frustrating.

  4. Nic

    This is outrageous. As many other commenters here I try to keep my account clean from bot accounts but this is being made more and more difficult by these annoying Twitter policies.

    I really wonder where this is all leading. Twitter and Facebook are so grown into the internet by now but the control we are giving away by giving them this much power is, quite frankly, scary.

    1. Ethan Caine

      Hopefully twitter learns from FB mistakes and doesn't think they are an unstoppable force. People will just stop using the service if that's the case….kind of like ICQ, MSN, Hi5, MySpace.

  5. Ben Ice

    Here is the reality. The more followers the better. It's one of the ways Twitter measure's it's reach. Automatic un-follows lower that number. It's a game and they are the boss…they own the rules. It's also sheer stupidity on their part, because there is already too much garbage in Twitter and we should have an easy way of taking out the trash.

  6. Christina

    I'm stuck. Somehow my Twitter account will not allow me to follow new people. How can I see how I'm following that is not following me and drop them? I have NEVER had this happen.

    1. socialoomph Post author

      You've run into a Twitter follow limit on your account. Even if you do find an automated way to figure out who is not following you back and want to unfollow them, don't do it. It will get your Twitter account suspended. It is against the Twitter rules.

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