August 14, 2022

Retweets Ruined Twitter. Here’s How to Get Rid of Them

In 2012 people joked that Twitter was a place to talk about what you had for lunch. In 2022 the joke is that it’s a place to scroll when you want to feel absolutely miserable.

Twitter is a hellsite. We all know it. The question is why.

My theory: Retweets did it. This simple button, which allows anyone to share someone else’s tweet with their followers, turned posting into a video game where earning the most attention from the most people became the end goal. There are times when this is great—when someone makes a very funny joke, for example. But the ease of the retweet button prompts people to impulsively share, instead of taking the time to type out their own thoughts. And it turns out what people really like impulsively sharing is stuff that makes them angry.

Glance at the trending section right now—I’m sure half of it is “someone said something stupid/offensive/wrong and people are mad,” or some variation on that. I, for one, think Twitter would be a better place without retweets, so I figured out how to not see retweets anymore. It made my timeline a lot calmer, and my life less stressful. Here’s how you can do it, too.

How to Mute All Retweets

There’s no official way to stop seeing all retweets, but there is a workaround. It’s a little bit of a hack, but it works really well. To get started, open Twitter’s settings and head to Privacy and Safety, then Mute and block, or click here.

Screenshot of Twitter settings

Twitter via Justin Pot

Click the plus button in the top-right corner to add a new word to mute. Now, add “RT @.” Like this:

Screenshot of Twitter profile

Twitter via Justin Pot

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