Last month I proposed a solution to the problem of ugly tweets (and individuals) appearing on your Twitter stream – a hide button.
However, there is another way Twitter could empower us to control what does and does not appear in our mentions folder – we should be able to untag ourselves when our username is included within undesirable content.
This would work very much like untagging yourself from a photo on Facebook, something which I used to have to do a lot until Facebook upgraded their privacy controls. Mentions are predominately a positive experience on Twitter and most of the time we welcome them into our lives, but as with everywhere else on the internet there are bad people out there, plus a decent pinch of good, old-fashioned weirdos, too.
I have seen my username included on Twitter for ‘retweets’ that are completely falsified – I never said or linked to what is being retweeted, but now all of a sudden I’m endorsing herbalÂ ViagraÂ and The Jonas Brothers (often in the same tweet). While I love the organic, manual retweet, this has always been a major flaw on Twitter. You can type in somebody’s username and have them say or do pretty much anything, and now that message is out there for potentially millions of people to see.
A one-click unmention button would enable us all to manage not only what we have to see in our inboxes, but Twitter could also configure this so that untagged tweets did not rank for that user in Twitter search, which would allow us all a greater level of security and protection from fraud. And who doesn’t want that?