HOW TO TWITTER #3: Are You a Robot?

I'm sitting here, faffing with some stuff before I go make lunch, and I get a Follow notification. As is always the case, I go look at who it is, and then realise that there's a 99% certainty I just got followed by a robot.

Here's how I check the validity of followers 😀

It's another of my 'How to Twitter '22' Handy Dandy Guides. Time to play 'Spot the Robot Follower!'

Say hello to Nancy Donald. I’ve highlighted five things about Nancy’s profile that make me think twice about following her. They are:

1. The Avatar
2. The Username
3. Their ‘Description’
4. Followers and Following
5. They don’t follow anyone I do [WARNING KLAXON]

This is Nancy Donald's Twitter header, which I've marked with five potential red flags, as detailed in the Tweet itself.

1. Lovely lass. If I used Google Lens, I wonder if I could find out who this really is… you’d be surprised what searching people’s avatars can turn up. In this case, no matches, but this is the standard warning that what you see is not necessarily what is real 😀

Sometimes you don’t need a programme, a human being is far superior ❤

2. A username with numbers after it is a good indicator of a new account. I suspect this account has been created in the last 72 hours (and yes, look, account was created January 22) It must be said at this point that many older Twitter users have numbers after their names. Why? Because, in many cases, they see no need to change their names, or they do not know how to. It is reasonably easy with other checks to work out the difference. This all boils down to you making informed decisions over whom you follow and how you then interact with them.

3. I like a good positive affirmation, and in this case you KNOW you're not being sold something… except, of course, you are. Robots hide in people's feeds to avoid detection and to propagate disinformation. that's why who they follow and who is following them is so important.

4. Is the killer. The eight people who follow them are as far away from my interests and ideals as it is possible to get. Looking at their Likes and their media, there is no actual interaction at all with anything I’d consider as normal or indeed compelling to me.

Finally, 5 goes without saying really. yes, at some point you will be followed by people who don't follow anyone else you do. It's how small becomes huge in this space. However, if you take the time to look at the follows when you are small… you can make this a better place.

If Twitter will not (and in many cases simply cannot) police accounts fast enough, learning how to report the wrong-uns yourself is a useful way not simply of keeping this space useful, but weeding out those only interesting in impersonation and disruption.

I know what to do.

Yup, I lose a follower.

However, I stop this person scraping MY feed, and using me a hiding place.

When was the last time you actually checked who you follow?


I have blocked @NancyDo40742302 and I'm fairly confident you should too.

Originally tweeted by Another 🗨️ Reeson 💭 to start 2022 💬 STRONGER (@InternetofWords) on January 16, 2022.

How To Twitter #2: The Only Way is @-ing…

#2 in a series of How to Improve your Twitter Gameplay: The Only Way is @-ing…

I never really used to grasp how Twitter makes conversations you think are mutual end up as genuinely one-sided, until I started participating in group experiences. The assumption is that if someone presses ‘Follow’ that they’re reading what you’re saying.


There are so many other factors at play: where they read your tweets (app/browser) and how that is set up. It also assumes that you’re not muted, which can often happen if you’re a prolific tweeter. Take it from someone who’s been told this to their face. It happens. The ONLY way you guarantee that someone is following you has read a tweet you’ve made is by including their @/username in a tweet. Never, EVER forget this. This can also be a useful way to ascertain whether you are also muted, if that is something that you need to know.

We follow people for lots of reasons: often in the hope that will, in turn, grant us a larger following ourselves. I’m not lying when I say I can manage about 600 people’s responses, and that’s the limit. If people are following as many people as they follow? They’re not listening. If it really matters that you talk to someone? Twitter is really not the place to do it. It’s great for random interactions, and for casual advertising. Make it anything else and the chances are it will get messy. If you are lucky enough to have decent friendships and engagement?

But seriously, honestly, truthfully, you are VERY LUCKY INDEED. Also, if you are investing a lot of emotional significance into ‘interactions’ where you are doing the majority of interacting? The chances are it’s a one way relationship. Make your choices with care. Again, take it from a fool.

TL;DR: if you want to guarantee an answer to a Tweet from that person you want to impress? Use their username.

If you get silence when you do?

Sometimes, that’s how we know that the importance we place in an interaction is not the same as how another person sees it.


Originally tweeted by Another 🗨️ Reeson 💭 to start 2022 💬 STRONGER (@InternetofWords) on January 15, 2022.

How To Twitter #1: Don’t just ‘Follow’ Anyone

Right, had planned to do this starting Monday. Today however has presented a peach. It would be foolish not to capitalize.

#1 in a series of How to Improve your Twitter Gameplay: Don’t Just Follow ANYBODY…

A tangerine orange banner in mthe Internet of Words 'style' on which are the words 'How to Twitter '22'

Random people will reply to anything. When they reply to YOUR Tweet, you have three choices:

1. Ignore them
2. Do some Homework, then ignore/follow them
3. Follow them

Now, some might argue that it’s just easier to do either 1 or 3 and move on. No, you should ALWAYS DO 2.

The lucky few can never follow anyone. Most of us do an exchange of worth/energy calculation at some point in the process. I know many want to follow everybody: my limit is about 600 or so. After that, my brain just implodes, but this is not my story, we’re talking Best Practice.

Increasing numbers of professionals I know just mute and block anyone who looks shifty, they don’t even bother. I get this completely. Life really is too short. However, you can learn valuable lessons by checking who you are talking to before the conversation starts:

– Do they have pictures in their profile
– How many people do they follow
– How many people follow them
– When was the last time they tweeted
– If they have links in their bio, where do they go to
– Who were the last 10 people they followed
– What’s in their ‘media’ section

Unless it’s someone I know or someone who’s clearly being an adult on twitter dot com, I will not put finger to keys without having checked out all of these first.

Honestly, when was the last time you checked who you’re following?

Old accounts are often hijacked and used to spam cryptocurrency ads, or magically alter to become porn bots. That moment when you can’t work out why you’re losing followers? More than likely, Twitter found robot accounts and deleted them. It shouldn’t be their job.

Mostly, I’m here to point out that as the New year has begun, why not check your followers and following lists and have a bit of a clearout?

If that means losing me, all preachy and suggesting you need to do the work once in a while?


Here endeth the first Guide: I’ll be saving these from Twitter, more for reference for myself than anything else.


Originally tweeted by Another 🗨️ Reeson 💭 to start 2022 💬 STRONGER (@InternetofWords) on January 1, 2022.

%d bloggers like this: