Charlie Harvey

TwatBegone: A much nicer twitter

A while ago, my buddy Oxguin was thinking about the blocking on Twitter, specifically because of Donald Trump.

TwatBegone screengrab

What happens, you see, is that when Trump says something twattish, as he is wont to do, all the non-twattish people on Twitter start telling him how much of a twat he is for saying it. Just like in the Tom the Dancing Bug comic in fact.

Which is annoying.

Twitter’s block tool may be able to stop you from seeing @realDonaldTrump's tweets. But if someone angrily replies to it, you'll see that.

What Oxguin realized was that a better way was needed to remove twattery from one's Twitter entirely.

So we decided to build it.

Today we launch TwatBegone.

TwatBegone is a userscript, meaning that any browser with a userscript manager ought to be able to run it. You install your userscript manager, then visit the install link. And you’re done.

Its written in plain old javascript and has some very useful features including the following:

  • Customizable list of twats to expunge from ones Twitter — you can block twats other than Donald Trump.
  • Choice of 4 actions to take with their Tweets — remove entirely, replace with fortune, replace with random haiku and my favourite replace with kitten video.
  • Fancy help and config pages.
  • A lovely icon (because it is all about the branding).
  • Support for regular expression blocking (which is almost certain to go horribly wrong at some point).

Despite the silly name, I can imagine it being a useful tool for some folks.

The ability not to see abusive tweets is certainly something Twitter don’t seem to have cracked. To make such a thing with TwatBegone would be doable just by creating a list of block words. Similarly for hiding NSFW things when checking your personal Twitter at work.

Naturally the TwatBegone code is on github, pull requests very welcome!


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