40,000 followers gooood, 200 followers baaad!

I wrote recently about my fear that the ‘filter_level’ metadata contained within each Tweet could be used to forever silence the unwashed masses in favour of the celebrity, brand or “more important” individual. But has this already been happening within the very interfaces we use to digest our daily stream of fun, facts and fury?

Over the past few weeks and months I have been performing that inevitable ritual that all who suckle at the nipple of Twitter go through… Mass unfollowing. We all find ourselves following accounts in moments of madness and intrigue, but after a while the interest fades and we discover that our timeline has been clogged up with numerous brands sharing mundane platitudes and ‘gurus’ offering us SoMe advice… So begins the mass unfollow.

What has intrigued me most though has been the sudden reappearance of old friends and long forgotten acquaintances who I am certain were not around before. Now I’m sure some of you will think that I had simply been missing these updates before amongst the deluge of drivel, but I am absolutely convinced that they weren’t there.

The question is, are the numerous Twitter clients throttling the number of updates you see? Or more alarmingly, are they basing this upon popularity and influence? As Twitter has grown it has become increasingly necessary for those who pay, and are, the money to be seen. This reflects positively upon the company and serves to demonstrate the worth of the platform. We, the people, the grunts, are there merely to consume the output of these high value, better educated, more important individuals.

It has been a fantastically liberating experience to brush shoulders again with those who made Twitter the wondrous world it once was and feel part of a true community again. A community whose primary goal wasn’t to sell, or promote, or weigh your worth. I heartily recommend it. And if I’m not following you any more, Tweet me. Say “Hello”. Or “Fuck You!”. Whatever it is, at least we’ll be conversing 🙂