When Bad Hashtags Happen To Good People (Or, Why Can’t We Opt Out Of Memes?)

Hashtags aren’t for everybody. Lots of people don’t like to participate in memes, and even those that do rarely want to take part in every single thing that’s currently trending on Twitter.

The problem is that when a hashtag gets really popular it can overwhelm your stream, and quickly become irritating. Which makes Twitter irritating. This is especially infuriating when it’s something that’s popular just within your network – for example, a conference or television event in which you have no interest. And if you have to go away to solve a problem, then something is broken.

Luckily, there’s a simple and (admittedly) obvious solution: you should be able to click on a hashtag or meme and then in the second page be able to opt out of receiving any further tweets containing that hashtag (or keyword). You can do this using filters in Twitter apps like TweetDeck, but they’re temporary and the tweets are still delivered to your account (but not displayed).

I want to see this function built into the core. And if I so choose, I want any opt-outs I make to be permanent.

Much like the block and the inbuilt retweet function, this could of course be easily reversed, too. Because while there are some memes in which you’ll never have an interest, sometimes you just don’t have an interest right now.

And it really doesn’t seem fair that you have to suffer irregardless of how you feel.