How To Disable All Retweets On Twitter

The Atlantic just made a great case for turning off retweets for everyone you follow on Twitter, but they don't tell you how. So we built a tool to do it.

"I hardly think a few birds are going to bring about the end of the world." Screenshot: The Birds

Twitter lets you turn off retweets from one user at a time, but not all at once. Turning them all off manually is a pain. So our colleague Michael Hertzberg wrote a script that automatically clicks "Turn off Retweets" on everyone you follow.

How

  1. Go to https://twitter.com/following, and keep scrolling down until you've loaded everyone you follow. (If you follow over a thousand people, this will take a few minutes.)
  2. Open your developer console. In Chrome, that's View > Developer > Developer Tools.
  3. In the command line at the bottom of the developer console, paste the following code and hit enter. (Again, this could take a few minutes, but you can let it run in the background.)

a=Array.prototype.slice.call(document.querySelectorAll("div.ProfileCard-content div.dropdown"));a.forEach(function(e) {e.querySelector("button").click(); e.querySelector("li.retweet-off-text button").click(); })

Whenever you follow a new person, you'll still have to turn off retweets. LOL yeah sorry. But on the upside, you can still retweet.

To reverse the process, do all of the above, but replace off with on in the code (inside the phrase "li.retweet-off-text button").

Why

As Alexis Madrigal says in The Atlantic, retweets tend to spread clickbait and outrage. Turn them off and you're likely to have a calmer feed. You'll miss out on a lot of jokes and political updates, but maybe that's worth it to you! It's definitely a very different experience than the default.

Whenever we write about hiding stuff you don't like from Twitter, someone comments about "filter bubbles". Yeah, if you use Twitter as a way to find alternative viewpoints, then just turn on the firehose. But you shouldn't feel ashamed for limiting your Twitter feed to the people you actually chose to follow. It's no one's duty to read all the tweets. You don't even need to read the US President's tweets; just read any newspaper or blog.

And Sadly

Disabling retweets doesn't disable quote tweets. Classic Twitter!

I don't even follow this guy. Screenshot: Isaac Butler

Nor does it hide those "Three people you follow liked this stranger's tweet" tweets, or any of Twitter's other annoyances. And of course it doesn't turn off screencaps of tweets. For a truly quiet feed, you'll just have to mute any famous accounts that get quote-tweeted too much, and unfollow the frequent quote-tweeters.

And if that isn't enough, try logging out.


Comments

    Mind you, when something is called 'twitter' I kind of expect it to me a bit annoying at times.

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