The Twitter Unfollow Bug. And other social media DOHs!

The Twitter Unfollow Bug. And other social media DOHs!

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

This week, I found that five people that I follow on Twitter were not being followed by my account. I have no idea when they were unfollowed, but I know for a fact that I did not push the unfollow button. Three of those persons are friends with whom I interact with on Twitter and elsewhere: Billy Delaney, Jack Steiner, and Bill Dorman.
WTF Twitter!
Samuel Jackson: Ezekiel 25:17 [Clip from Pulp Fiction]
Twitter’s official statement on the Unfollow Bug:
Bug alert:

  • Some users have reported follower counts that do not accurately reflect the number of users displayed on the Followers page. This is an ongoing issue we’re working to fix. Your account may update correctly on its own.

Engineers are working hard to resolve the issue listed above. Thanks for your patience!

Last week, I noticed one or two unfollows – accounts which were automagically unfollowed by my account. Without my consent. The bug has been going on like this for years. But it’s gotten worse recently.
Others have written about the Twitter Unfollow Bug:
Coping With Twitter’s Unfollow Bug by Jeremiah Owyang (TechCrunch)

Twitter ‘Unfollow’ Bug Acknowledged by Courteney Palis (Huffington Post)

Are You a Victim of the Dreaded Twitter Unfollow Bug? (Gawker)

Twitter admits ‘unfollowing bug’ by Emma Barnett (The Telegraph)

It WASN’T something you said: Twitter admits to problem with ‘unfollow bug’ which cuts off followers at random by Rob Waugh (The Daily Mail)
On the one hand, I can say this is typical of freeware and I’m not surprised. On the other hand, I know an unintended unfollow can put some people off- especially if they are not aware of the notorious Twitter unfollow bug.
In social, the unintended faux pas can add up and, ultimately, undermine brand, reputation, and trust.
Nor does it behoove you or me to manually validate our follows every week or month. Nonetheless, this is a problem that needs to be solved yesterday – one way or another.
Saul, here’s an easy freemium app that could put you front and center- an app to validate follows.

Stan Faryna
14 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania

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14 Responses to The Twitter Unfollow Bug. And other social media DOHs!

  1. thanks Stan. Interesting little insight. I had no idea!

    • Stan Faryna says:

      You, Dr. Jack King, and a few others seem to be persistently dropped. I try to remember and re-follow, but it is a worthwhile hassle.

  2. Thanks for posting Stan. Important to let people know, as many do not. I also think another vital aspect is for people to not take it so personally when there is an apparent unfollow. It can be because of the bug, a mistaken click, or simply that per on has decided not to follow you. Always ok to check since many times, due to the virus or a mistake we do not know, and if for another reason… so be it. One of the great things about social platforms is that they are the ultimate in permission marketing and that should be respected :-)

  3. ResumeSmith says:

    I have heard of this happening to other people, but I thought it was an isolated issue that had to do with apps they were using. Now that I know about the bug, I will just assume that an unfollow by someone I personally know was just the bug and I won’t be offended! I hope others will give me the same benefit of the doubt.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      “I hope others will give me the same benefit of the doubt.”

      We all hope for that benefit of the doubt. But a RT of this or any of the other posts about the unfollow bug will certainly help spread the insight.

  4. [...] individually wonderful reasons. … If I’m not following you on Twitter, read about the Twitter Unfollow Bug and let me know. If I haven’t RT’ed you or made a comment, it is not for lack of heart [...]

  5. I can’t believe this problem has been going on for years. Unresolved! I, too, noticed one day that Twitter had unfollowed Bill Dorman (I think he may be getting a complex!). I was glad I happened to see that, because I could quickly rectify it. But, how many others have gone unnoticed? I really wish they’d fix that darn bug!

  6. billdorman says:

    What? Don’t make me do a post about you. This post was in reference to a ‘intentional’ unfollow however…..the nerve…..:). http://billdorman.me/2011/12/27/im-pretty-sure-i-just-got-fired/

  7. It is good to get this info thank you!

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