Top Ten Most Stupid Things People Do on Twitter

Bob Leggitt | Tuesday, 23 October 2012 |

One of the best things about Twitter is its ability to reveal just how stupid some people really are. In fact, there are so many stupid things people do on Twitter, that isolating just ten was quite a difficult task. But don't worry - after an evening of sweat, toil and KFC, I've finally managed it.

This, of course, is only what I think. You might regard other Twitter practices as even more unfathomably stupid than the ones in this roundup. But whether or not we concur precisely on what is the most stupid thing anyone can possibly ever do on Twitter, I think you’ll agree that the activities listed below are pretty damn stupid. So, let’s go… In no particular order, the top ten most stupid things people do on Twitter. Any usernames in the article are ficticious, are not meant to represent any actual individuals, and don't exist on Twitter at the time of writing...


Image taken from Twitter Welcome Screen - copyright Twitter. Text modified by Bob Leggitt.

TRYING TO APPLY FOR A JOB AS AN ASTRONAUT, BY TWEETING NASA

This probably isn’t the best way to start the article, because frankly, there’s not a lot I can add to the strapline, and there isn’t really much I can do to make it sound more stupid than it already does. I mean, what are NASA gonna say in response to someone who thinks they can apply for a job as an astronaut in 140 characters?… “yeah, no probs. u can start monday. tweet back.”? The very fact that you think NASA could regard a tweet as a job application is in itself evidence that you’re a complete… well, let’s be polite and just say that you probably wouldn’t inspire great confidence at the helm of a spacecraft. It always used to make me laugh when people tweeted the police asking for a job. But NASA?… It could only happen on Twitter.

RELENTLESSLY AND SOLELY TWEETING GLAMOUR MODELS

These guys are just unreal. I mean, we all like glamour models… Well, a lot of us do, anyway. But setting up a Twitter account, following 50 glamour models, and no one else, and just relentlessly tweeting inane, desperate crap at all these women, regardless of how persistently they ignore it all?… Just, like, why?… The blokes don’t, incidentally, try to communicate with anyone else. Only glamour models. I might understand it if they sent a few tweets, then realised the women were not vaguely interested, then stopped doing it, and went and found something else to do. But they don’t. They go on, and on, and on, and on, often repeating the same mindless, desperate bleatings over and over again, tirelessly, until they lose their password, or until they get blocked – whichever comes first. I’ve always made a special effort to bite my tongue when tempted to shout “GET A F***IN’ LIFE!!!” on the Internet, but I just can’t do it this time. For goodness’ sake! GET . A . F***IN’. LIFE!!!!!!!!

TRYING TO CRUSH A GLOBALISED BUSINESS, BY MAKING ANGRY COMMENTS ABOUT THEM, TO ABOUT 8 FOLLOWERS – 6 OF WHOM ARE BOTS, AND THE OTHER TWO OF WHOM NEVER LOOK AT THEIR TIMELINE BECAUSE IT’S JUST A NOISE

These are people who’ve basically got hammered off the face of the earth on vodka, then perhaps dialled some random premium-rate-plus-surcharge telephone number in Botswana or somewhere equally distant (when they live in England), and forgotten to hang up. They’ve then lost all memory of what actually turned out to be a ten-hour phonecall, and received a bill for around five grand. Then, they’ve decided it’s the phone company’s fault for not telepathically realising they were blind-pissed, and terminating the call on their behalf. But are they going to complain to customer services? No. They’re going to mount a two-year campaign against the phone company, on Twitter. But they haven’t got any followers, so no one’s listening. And even if anyone was listening, they wouldn’t give a gnat’s gonad. You are not going to crush a vast commercial organisation by repetitively tweeting: “WARNING!!! @TelecommsCoPlus overharged my sorry ass!” – to three people, who are only on Twitter to talk about themselves.

SAYING TO STRANGERS: “CAN U FOLLOW ME SO I CAN DM U?”

Yeah, like they’re REALLY gonna follow you if you threaten to DM them, aren’t they?… And it IS a threat. This is the equivalent of knocking someone’s front door and saying: “Can you let me in so I can steal all your valuables please?” No one in their right mind is going to follow a stranger so he can send them a private message, which is clearly going to be something far too weird, creepy or manipulative to be said publicly. Why do some people not understand that?

ASKING EVERYONE ON TWITTER EXACTLY THE SAME QUESTION

Yes, there really are people who do this. What must it be like to have only one question in your entire worldly repertoire, but to require everyone in the universe to answer it? What makes this so much more idiotic is that the question these characters repetitively ask is invariably the most pointless question anyone’s ever thought up. Would it not make more sense just to join a big general topics message board, and post the question once on there, rather than posting it 5,746 times on Twitter, each addressed to a different user? For some people, obviously not.

TWEETING SOMEONE WHO’S BLOCKED YOU, TO ASK WHY YOU’RE BLOCKED

a) Like they’ll actually see your message.

b) Like they’d bother replying even if they could see your message, and…

c) Like the answer isn’t already blindingly obvious.

Sometimes, after about 48 hours, the notion slowly begins to penetrate this idiot’s thick skull, that actually, when Twitter says you’re blocked, it means YOU’RE F***IN’ BLOCKED. Furthermore, there’s no one sitting there in the offices of Twitter saying: “Oh look, in this message the user is simply making an enquiry, asking why he’s blocked. Let’s allow that one through so that he may gain a greater understanding of the situation”.

So then, he experiences a flash of genius, which prompts him to start tweeting friends of the person who’s blocked him, asking them, to ask on his behalf, why he’s blocked… Yawn. NO ONE’S GONNA WASTE THEIR PRECIOUS MINUTES ASKING OR EXPLAINING WHY YOU’RE BLOCKED! Just accept the fact!… But he can’t, obviously, so he then sets up a new account, purely so he can tweet the person who’s blocked him, to ask why they blocked his other account. He may, once he realises that this account has also been instantly blocked, vaguely begin to get his head round the concept of the Block button. THEY DON’T WANT YOUR SAD, BORING, STUPID, IGNORANT, ARGUMENTATIVE AND FREQUENTLY INSULTING SPAM! COMPRENDE???!!!

BUYING FOLLOWERS

If people want to waste their money, I suppose that’s up to them. But surely there must be more rewarding ways to flush your quids down the bog than buying Twitter ‘followers’. The reason this is so incredibly stupid is that it completely overlooks the obvious flaw in the plan… Namely, you can buy Follow button clicks, but you can’t buy attention – well, not when it comes to a bloated whirlpool of spam like Twitter, anyway. No artificially-induced follower (and all bought followers must by nature be artificially-induced) will be following you out of interest. If any of them are real people, they’ll be doing it to get whatever inducement they’ve been offered to follow you. Their goal, you can be assured, will in no way involve reading any of your tweets. This can only ever be the ultimate in vanity-purchasing-gone-mad.

DELETING EVERY TWEET WITHIN MINUTES OF POSTING IT

You know they’re tweeting because you see people reply to them. Then you click “View Conversation” on the reply, and nothing happens. Half expecting their account to be protected, you go to their profile page, and it says “@Mr_Dipstick hasn’t tweeted yet”. Then you see them getting more replies, so you look on their page again… “@Mr_Dipstick hasn’t tweeted yet”. Yes he flamin’ well has! He’s tweeting stuff all the time, but he deletes every single word of it. I’m guessing that users who do this have the aim of messaging people privately, but they can’t because those people won’t follow them. Basically, they’re perpetually tweeting pure slime, and they know it. If I worked at BBC News, I’d auto-retweet every grim murmur these characters ever typed, to one million plus information-hungry followers. Yeah, NOW delete it! – slime ball!!

TWEETING YOUR OWN PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL, AND HOME ADDRESS

This is another of those eye-openers you look at and think… “Nah, NO ONE could be that stupid.” But in actual fact, LOADS of people are that stupid. Typically, it’ll be desperate men trying to get dates – frequently with other men who are pretending to be 19-year-old college girls. It just doesn’t seem to register with some people that not only are they putting their full personal details on Twitter, but they’re also more than likely putting them on Google. If they’ve used their real name (and a lot of these desperate ‘Internet lotharios’ do appear to use their real names), then once Google indexes the tweet, it’s easily searchable to anyone in the world. And deleting the tweet won’t remove it from Google either, so if these idiots ever do have an unexpected dawn of sense, their name, email, number and address is nicely preserved on the world’s biggest search engine – along with their peurile attempts at virtual seduction.

FOLLOWING BACK EVERY FOLLOWER

There are people on Twitter who will follow back each and every entity that follows them. Fear of being unfollowed is their reasoning, I’m convinced. So, whether it’s a rank simpleton, a troll, an escaped lunatic with a bomb down his pants, or an extremely basic piece of software, they follow it back. But there must, surely, be a point at which they look at their timeline, with its total spew of incomprehensible racket, and think: “WTF am I doing???” Probably so. But, it seems, fear of being unfollowed is a very powerful thing. And some people will tolerate any amount of intolerable annoyance in their timelines, in a desperate bid to hang onto ‘followers’ who’ve never read a single word they’ve said, and in many cases are incapable of doing so. These people are seriously compromising their own pleasure, because they can’t bear the thought of looking unpopular. In a way, I think that pretty much encapsulates the spirit of Twitter.

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