How to Prevent Strangers from Following You on Twitter

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Twitter is a social networking site dedicated to bulk. It’s not so much about the quality of your followers. After all, how strong a relationship can you create in under 140 characters at a time? Even so, you don’t want some strangers to follow you. Whether they’re weird or malicious, you want to keep these people as far away from you as possible.

Twitter does have a number of mechanisms in place to prevent such shady characters from clinging to you like a lost puppy, though.

What Types of Strangers are there? 

How to Prevent Strangers from Following You on Twitter
Twitter has a colorful crowd filled with maniacs, obsessive fans, celebrities, and completely average people. Here are some of the strangers you don’t want following you.

The spammer. Spammers are evil. They take any opportunity to send you trash about their latest special offer. Some spammers just go on about the same useless things, such as their children. You don’t want these people taking time away from the Tweeters who matter.

The bot. The bot isn’t really a person. They have pre-made Tweets set into a program. Every so often, they’ll Tweet about something. You can usually tell who the bot is by receiving an automated response each time you send them an instant message. Most of the time, they aren’t dangerous, they’re just pointless.

The carrier. The carrier is a term for the sort of follower who spreads malware. They might be using a bot or it could be a real person. Often, you’ll receive shortened links which take you to a place where your computer becomes infected. The severity depends on the specific carrier.

A Word on Bots 

You shouldn’t fear the concept of a bot completely. Perfectly legitimate users regularly employ bots to streamline the Twitter process. And Twitter doesn’t move to stop them as they don’t break their terms and conditions.

For an example on how it makes the process easier, you can’t thank everyone who follows you. Installing a bot sends an automatic ‘thank you’ when they follow you. Others find it easier to narrow down people with their same interests.

It’s how the bot interacts and whether they offer you anything useful which dictates whether they’re worth your time.


The most widely used anti-spam mechanism is Fake Follower Check from StatusPeople. It allows you to see how many of your followers are fake or inactive. It’s an important add-on if you are trying to sell a product or service.

If you’ve been spammed repeatedly by someone with the same messages, this will reveal the name of the user. You can either report or block them, preferably both.

Each time you report a spammer, Twitter claims they automatically stop them from communicating with and following you. It doesn’t result in a suspension unless a lot of people report the account, though.

Legitimate Follower 

The hardest part of telling whether someone is a real person is to check who is following them. If they only have a limited number of people following them and they are following lots of account, there’s a good chance it’s a bot and you can remove them straight away.

Before doing anything, check to see how many Tweets they’ve made. If it’s a new account, there’s a good chance it’s a new user who just doesn’t have many followers yet.

How to Hide My Tweets? 

You have full control over who can see your Tweets. You can make them private to only your followers. Enable ‘Protect my Tweets’ to do this. Click the gear icon on the Twitter page and navigate to the settings menu. In your account section you’ll find a menu for privacy.

There’s a button which reads ‘Protect My Tweets’, click it and save the changes. Now nobody from outside your circle will be able to see your Tweets.

Most users choose not to do this. If someone can’t see your Tweets they won’t follow you. If you want to gain a bigger audience or potentially Tweet about something which goes viral, you have to make your account visible to the general public.


As a last resort, you can block someone. This will prevent them from reading your posts, following you, and sending an instant message. It isn’t an IP ban, so if they really want to get back in touch with you they can via another account. This isn’t a permanent option. You can unblock them if you want.

Here’s how to block an unwanted user on Twitter:

  1. Click ‘Followers’ on your Twitter page.
  2. Find the user on your list. This might take a while if you have a large audience.
  3. On the left of the ‘Follow’ button you’ll see a ‘Block’ button. Press it and they won’t have any contact with you.

Author’s bio: The guest post is written by Sonia Jackson from She writes essays on different topics and can give you useful advice.


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