Oh, thank goodness. After YEARS of suddenly realizing that the person I absolutely KNEW I was following a week earlier is no longer part of my Twitter friend, Twitter has confessed that there is, in fact, a bug that unfollows people for you.
The Twitter rep that confessed talked to Tech Crunch.
What’s causing this? I’m not sure, so I asked my proper contacts at Twitter who responded “This is a bug, and our team is working to fix it.” They also sent me a link to their support FAQ, which indicates the known issue.
Honestly, as much as it sucks that Twitter has a bug, I am THRILLED to hear this. Because I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve been accused of secretly unfollowing people. It numbers in the hundreds. In reality I think I’ve unfollowed fewer than than a dozen people in my four years on Twitter, and most of those were people that exhibited ugly, racist, or abusive behavior.
I don’t blame people for getting upset. I know that there have been times when I’ve tried to direct message someone that I thought was following me, and gotten that hand slap from Tweetdeck, “recipient isn’t following you.” (I use Tweetdeck almost exclusively to manage my Twitter feed; I know if I tried to send a message from within Twitter it would be clear much sooner that they weren’t following me). That sinking feeling of rejection happens to all of us, and when we reach out and say, “Hey, tried to DM you but couldn’t!” the response, “Oh, I thought I was following you! So sorry!” can ring quite untrue.
But, at last, we can all rest easy now. The unfollow bug is real. There is not some malicious and sneaky unfollowing happening out there, so when someone says they didn’t unfollow you they probably mean it. *WHEW*