Post last updated: Sat 9 May 2020
Note that the blog post below referenced ‘old’ Twitter before some changes came in mid-July 2019. Twitter is switching off this ‘legacy’ version of Twitter on 1 June 2020 so some of the suggestions below may no longer work.
Updated 22 Jul 2019 – I search periodically for this post on Twitter because people often share it, then reply to themselves with some other useful thing they’ve found and that’s why this post keeps getting longer! Also check the comments for additional suggestions.
Updated 23 July 2019 – #NewTwitter means a lot more visits to this post, please see my dedicated Make Twitter Useable Again post for more info.
Let’s get rid of other people’s likes on Twitter!
Options known about so far… the first seven involve using website Twitter, the seventh is info sent to me about a phone app. Numbers 2-6 involve workarounds to improve the experience on Twitter.com
- Use 3rd party Twitter website eg Tweetdeck or Dabr
- AdBlock Plus with Element Hiding Helper (Firefox)
- UBlock Origin filter
- 3a. Chrome Extension: Make Twitter Great Again
- 3b. Chrome Extension: Get rid of trending topics
- 3c. Chrome Developer tools: Block all RTs (except manual or quote RTs)
- Try the “mute phrases” option
- User styles
- Dismiss every tweet with ‘I don’t like this tweet’
- Use a list of people you follow as main timeline
- App version (Nexus 6P)
1. Use 3rd party Twitter website eg Tweetdeck or Dabr
Log in to either https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ or https://dabr.eu/ (will be shutting down soon) and enjoy a basic ad-free peaceful tweeting experience. Tweetdeck solution suggested by Alexandre in the comments.
2. AdBlock Plus with Element Hiding Helper (Firefox)
It’s the Element Hiding Helper that does the heavy lifting here, although AdBlock Plus by itself gets rid of the sponsored tweets. Generally I don’t really mind sponsored tweets (I’m happy for Twitter to advertise to me) but I’m not interested in who to follow or trends and the additional bolt-on lets me get rid of that.
When you see a tweet that’s been inserted into your timeline because someone’s liked it call up the Element Hiding Helper. It lets you select an area containing the offending tweet (be careful not to select too much, or too little) and remove it from view. It might take a few attempts to catch all the slightly different variants (oh there are variants!) but I’ve found it to be very successful. You can also wipe out Moments, Trends, Who To Follow panels from around the main timeline and you can eliminate things inside the timeline too.
Here’s what my page looks like. I’ve got rid of Moments and the Analytics panel. On other pages you’d see the lack of Trends and Who to follow…
Here’s a clip of what I see on my mentions (for privacy I’ve not shown any tweets as some are from locked accounts). There’s a white panel containing tweets in the middle and two lovely clear grey panels on either side, with nothing in them at all 🙂
NOTE that doing this may cut out other tweets from your timeline. I’ve found that if I have this switched on I may miss replies, and some of my own tweets (particularly those with images) are hidden, so it’s worth toggling between pruned and unpruned timelines periodically to check. It’s not perfect.
3. UBlock Origin filter
Thanks to an update from gorhill in the comments below it looks likely that if this tweet doesn’t render correctly on your screen you’ll see mangled instructions. I’ve added a screenshot of the same tweet below the embed (some browsers will show both correctly)
3a. Chrome Extension: Make Twitter Great Again
“Hide liked tweets by others in timeline, hide Live Video, promoted tweets and others improvements for Twitter” (link) – apparently Opera can also use the same apps as Chrome.
3b. Chrome Extension: Get rid of trending topics
Andy (@digitonal) also shared a tip for getting rid of trending topics on Chrome using the Stylish extension to run a custom rule for Twitter.
3c. Chrome Developer tools: Block all RTs (except manual or quote RTs)
Nick Douglas has written a helpful post on Lifehacker with instructions on how to do this for Chrome browser users: How to disable all retweets on Twitter (6 March 2018).
4. Try the “mute phrases” option
Each suggested tweet has its own ‘type’ and some people have found success with muting the type, which seems to mute the tweet. It may not work for everyone and might depend on what version of Twitter you’re experiencing. Tweet below from @Squiddy (RTed into my timeline by @garius), then screenshot in case it doesn’t show up properly, and copy/pasteable text for good measure.
You can leap to your Muted Words setting on desktop here https://twitter.com/settings/muted_keywords on mobile it will be via the gear icon. See also Twitter’s help page on Muting stuff, which curiously doesn’t mention this.
For copying and pasting purposes the text types are: RankedOrganicTweet, ActivityTweet, suggested_rank_organic_tweet, suggest_sc_tweet, suggest_ranked_timeline_tweet, suggested_grouped_tweet_hashtag, suggest_pyle_tweet, suggested_recycled_tweet_inline, suggest_activity_tweet, suggest_recycled_tweet, suggest_activity, suggest_recap, suggest_who_to_follow, generic_activity_Highlights
5. User styles – Twitter: Hide likes in timeline feed with Stylish
Note – read Kyle‘s comment below (jump to the comment) for info on privacy concerns with Stylish, and an alternative that works with Chrome.
I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what this is. It’s some sort of CSS style that you can apply but I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how or for which browser (perhaps all browsers). I’m unlikely to investigate further as my solution (option 2) works fine but here’s the link and how I heard about it.
6. Dismiss every liked tweet with ‘I don’t like this tweet’
Every tweet has a small arrow to the top right with options in (highlighted in blue below). For these liked tweets one of the options is ‘I don’t like this tweet’ or ‘show me less of this’ (not seen in the example below because it’s a different type of tweet) – select that and after a few times apparently the annoyance will go away.
I don’t use this method myself in case it causes problems for the person who’s tweet has been liked but it seems to work, though takes longer (and one advantage is that it does actually tell Twitter you don’t like it whereas my preferred method gives no feedback).
Picture below is illustrative. Because it wasn’t promoted to me as a ‘someone liked this’ the “I don’t like this” option isn’t available from the drop-down menu, but that’s where you’d find it if you had one of these tweets in your timeline.
7. Use a list of people you follow as main timeline
George in the comments below suggested this one and it’s got potential! Create a list (give it a nice name so no-one will be annoyed when they find they’ve been added) add the people whose tweets you would like to see and then view that list instead of your main timeline. You’ll see only the tweets of the people you’ve added and you won’t see any additionally inserted tweets that Twitter wants you to know about. Thanks George!
8. App version (Nexus 6P, official Twitter app)
If you know of other methods, let’s have ’em.
I follow over 2,000 people on Twitter so obviously I don’t see every one of their tweets, but I can live with that. If I need to catch up with someone’s tweets I can look at their profile. Twitter went through a phase of showing me ‘things you’ve missed’ while I’d been away, which was annoying. There’s also an option where you can be shown the ‘best’ tweets rather than the straightforward reverse-order chronological timeline. Fiddling about unnecessarily.
More recently Twitter’s started sharing, in your main timeline, tweets that other people have liked. Ironically I don’t think anyone likes this, I hate it. Even though some of the tweets are pretty good it really annoys me. Liking or favouriting on Twitter has usually been a semi-public act, in that you can go and look at someone’s likes if you wish (here are mine: https://twitter.com/JoBrodie/likes), but otherwise they’re not ‘surfaced’ to your timeline, and now they are. I vaguely remember Twitter having an Activity tab where it showed what your friends were liking but it was short-lived.
No-one’s found an option that lets you switch this off (which is odd given that you can select options for almost everything else that Twitter displays) but here [above] are a few suggestions.
This bit moved to the end for clarity after I spotted this tweet. Good point well made, I am quite chatty. See it’s 4 paragraphs now 😉
This post has been referenced in a Lifehacker post (How to block other people’s likes on Twitter) which has brought lots of new visitors so welcome to the new folk and thanks to Lifehacker 🙂