Unfollow Friday: Put Britney Spears at the top of your Unfollow list

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The Twitter game to gather up as many followers as you can has already reached its epic proportion -- the battle royale between Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) and CNN (@cnnbrk) to reach 1 million sheep -- so now it's time for people to start getting selective. So forget Follow Friday (for the uninitiated: the smarmy practice of tweeting #followfriday and a bunch of names to try to court favor and try to drum up new followers). Now there's UnFollow Friday.

And well there should be. Tops on the list: @britneyspears.

The account, which is supposedly her own actual account, now has about 1.2 million followers and follows back 377,000. But according to pages leaked from a hacked page of a Twitter administrator, Brit is actually being blocked by more than 3,000 people. So take that Brit.

Also according to the documents, pop star Lily Allan (@lilyroseallan) is blocked by 184 users -- and she is blocking, you guessed it, Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton). And who wouldn't?


There are a bunch of others on my list to Unfollow:

  • Sarah Palin (@akgovsarahpalin) would be a good start. Not only does she not follow back most of her followers (not a great way to court voters, ahem), but she also probably doesn't get near the account on her own. And aren't we tired yet of celebrity tweeters who use their staffers to do the work? The whole point of joining in with the masses is to get in with the people.
  • Oprah (@oprah) also doesn't follow back her followers (up to 750,000 at this writing). She also doesn't tweet very frequently, after all the fuss about her joining. If you are one of the minions who signed up after her, just to follow her, then you must be sorely disappointed, and you're probably going to contribute to the statistic floating around that 60% of Twitter users quit after a month. How long before @Oprah is farmed out to an intern?
  • Your boss (@whomeveryouare), and this would also be a good person to block from following you. A woman was recently fired for surfing Facebook while out on a sick day. You don't want your boss anywhere near your Twitter account on a regular basis.
  • UnfollowFriday (@unfollowFriday) for turning the whole thing into a game that actually makes the people they're trying to unfollow more popular by getting their names out there. Get in a fake fight on Twitter and you start to gin up a lot of buzz for yourself. It's all a bit silly.
  • #unfollowFriday -- for exactly the same reason
  • Any Twitter plug-ins or apps that automatically unfollow the people who aren't following you. It's just spiteful, in my opinion, and counterproductive.
  • Maureen Dowd (@maureendowd) because apparently it's not really her account (although why anyone would create a fake one is beyond me). But even if it is her account, she doth protest too much about Twitter being stupid for anyone to follow her on Twitter, and it's crazy that she has 6,000 followers (and nobody that she follows) if she's going to complain about the whole thing.

Do you have any others to add to this list? Fill in your choices below!

A note on the leaked documents: Twitter responded to the authenticity of the hacked documents on its blog, saying, "This week, unauthorized access to Twitter was gained by an outside party. Our initial security reviews and investigations indicate that no account information was altered or removed in any way. However, we discovered that 10 individual accounts were viewed during this unauthorized access.

Personal information that may have been viewed on these 10 individual accounts includes email address, mobile phone number (if one was associated with the account), and the list of accounts blocked by that user. We have personally contacted Twitter users whose accounts were compromised via this unauthorized access.

Password information was not revealed or altered, nor were personal messages (direct messages) viewed. Twitter takes security very seriously so we will be conducting a thorough, independent security audit of all internal systems and implementing additional anti-intrusion measures to further safeguard user data."
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