Tweet blockers let you avoid @charliesheen, #SXSW tweets, but why?

Posted on March 12, 2011

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While Charlie Sheen doesn’t really tweet as often as many of us do from our Twitter accounts, his “words of wisdom” and people’s Sheen jokes have been running rapidly through the social media space. While some are obviously having fun watching this social media phenomenon, others are tired of seeing the out-of-work actor’s name popping up on their timelines every five seconds.

Enter Tinted Sheen. According to Geek.com, it was launched a few days ago by coder Greg Leuch and basically censors any Sheen mentions from your internet browser. It works with Firefox and Chrome as a plugin. According to the article, The Seattle Times has tried it and, while it doesn’t block every single Sheen mention, they find it most effective.

Blockers aren’t new to the social media world. Twitter and Facebook have long allowed you to block users you don’t want following you or friending you. However, we pause at all-encompassing blockers and wonder if they are really that effective and worthwhile. For that matter, we’re not sure they should be used at all.

Consider this: Thousands of our social media friends are in Austin this week for #SXSW (South by Southwest, a music, film and interactive festival) this week. You can imagine that there are literally millions of tweets out there documenting the interactive conference. We’ve seen them flowing through our timeline like an endless waterfall.

Enter Lanyrd. They have also created a tweet blocker for all things #SXSW. Just like Tinted Sheen, it’s a plugin for Firefox and Chrome that you can toggle on and off. It removes the tweets of the more than 3,000 people attending this week’s conference.

We have to wonder though why people in the social media space would use this plugin to block tweets concerning a social media conference. Sure, we’re a little jealous and disappointed that we can’t be there too; but we’ve found the links, videos and general conversation to be informative and entertaining.

Isn’t sharing part of the reason we’re using social media? It seems somewhat hypocritical to block information in the space built for sharing information. What’s next? Are all those #Japan #tsunami tweets bothering us too? Will we then install tweet blockers for them?

Still, if you really are annoyed by Sheen or #SXSW, you can click on the links in this post to find the plugins. We’d love to hear others’ thoughts on this though.

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Posted in: A Social Twist