Twitter’s “view less” button is a simple way to force promoted content

When you write one My patented hot takes On Twitter, I don’t do half measures. I’m all for declaring Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts “the quintessential Philly athlete.” I just wish the site’s approach to unwanted promotional content worked the same way. But instead of offering users a complete restriction order against these things, Twitter simply allows us to select “suggested visiting hours.”

And it does this under the name of the “view less” button.

Many large social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, force posts on us that we do not want to see, and usually only one many annoying way to deal with it: that damn button. Whether it’s direct ads, promotional posts, or random posts from strangers, our only recourse is usually the signal we want to see. little instead of him None from him.

These social networks give us the illusion of control over our feeds, but no actual control – as a recent Mozilla study found that YouTube’s dislike button doesn’t actually change the videos the site suggests to you.


Sorry Little Mermaid haters, YouTube’s dislike button doesn’t actually do anything

The damn “view less” button is one of the worst parts of modern web design. If we’re going to get unsolicited posts, we should have a more definitive way to stop them.

Mandatory content

If you use Twitter, you’ve probably seen this button before. It appears in different forms on different social networks; sometimes it looks like “not interested” on Instagram or “show me less of that” on Facebook. However, Twitter is the site I use the most – I just can’t escape the magnetic pull of a rubber necklace scrolling through endless scrolls of terrible posts broken up by the occasional meme or two. So that’s the social media example I’ll stick with for now.

Twitter makes decisions on a regular basis no direct access From me, I absolutely need to see some viral post A statement from Rockstar Games after the big one Grand Theft Auto 6 leakage. Personally, I get a lot of referrals for game content, probably because of that I tweet a lot about video games. Sometimes I also receive world news regularly. This is what it looks like in my notifications tab when I do.

I wouldn’t want to see that. I didn’t want to see it. Twitter made me see this.
Credit: Screenshot: Twitter

Sorry about the late Queen, but I have a lot going on at the moment. I didn’t care about his state funeral because I have bones to pick with the concept of dynastic monarchy. (But that’s a conversation for another day.) Simply put, I ran all this coverage — I didn’t want to see or hear about the funeral on TV, Twitter or anywhere else. I never wants to see a notification about that royal family again. So I tapped the three dots in the corner of the notification to dismiss it, which brought me to the most passive aggressive of buttons.

on Twitter

I wish that button said “I don’t care.”
Credit: Screenshot: Twitter

Clicking that pesky button will make that particular notification disappear, replaced by a generic promise that Twitter will “use this to improve your experience.” Not by getting rid of these notifications completely, I guess. Even in official language Twitter’s support site really doesn’t give much confidence that you will see any less of these posts.

“When you mark a Tweet as Show less often, it helps Twitter better understand the types of Tweets you want to see less of in your Prime timeline. We may use this information to optimize and tailor your experience in the future. You can log in from this option [three dots] icon in the tweet.”

Oh, you can Will you use the information to tailor my experience in the future? How thoughtful. Notice the lack of commitment there. It’s just a shame, because Twitter has some great (if somewhat hidden) features that really enhance the experience. Mute notifications from people who don’t follow you.

There is a similar dynamic with the content offered on Instagram, where clicking the “I’m not interested” button hides the post, and the program then promises to show you “less posts.” According to at least one Reddit thread, that may not be true at all.

I use it all the time and Instagram just gives me more The types of posts I’m not interested in,” said user serendipitysamiss. “It’s like any interaction I have with them is automatically positive.”

of Instagram

Yes, you will for sure.
Credit: Screenshot: Instagram

Not surprisingly, this also happens with the ads on Facebook that you can choose to see little a certain type of advertisement. It’s not clear what this button does (and I couldn’t find any relevant statistics on it), but I got it about 24 hours after clicking on an ad from a company I didn’t mention. else advertising for that company’s products.

However, this is not the end of the story when it comes to Facebook ads.

Facebook show less ads button

I click the “show less” button, but it doesn’t do much.
Credit: Screenshot: Facebook

Maybe for only I’ll give Facebook credit for one thing in my life: you can turn off all ads from a specific advertiser if you want. Simply tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the offending ad, “Why am I seeing this ad?” and then tap “Hide all ads from this advertiser”.

See, that’s exactly the kind of answer I’m looking for. There are no half measures here… except for the part where Facebook will continue to show you ads from other companies.

Facebook hides all ads from this advertiser button

The advertiser’s name is blocked because, frankly, his products are kind of dope.
Credit: Screenshot: Facebook

If I wanted to see it, I would watch it

Now I understand that social networks need advertising money to survive. Facebook in particular brought in about $115 billion in revenue advertising revenue in 2021. That’s what keeps the lights on. So Facebook won’t let me turn off ads entirely, and instead will only give me some choice about which ones I want to do. to see less, I understood. It stinks, but I get it.

But Twitter is different. The whole structure of Twitter is that if you want to see someone’s tweets, you click the follow button on their profile. If you want to listen to the gaps, go to the Gaps tab in the app. If you want to explore a specific topic, head over to the Trends tab to see which celebrities are spitting at each other. It’s that simple.

But over the years, social networks have abandoned this structure to make sure you see things you don’t want to see. They do this when they offer it illusion Control it through the “view less” buttons. But a quick scan Reddit or cursor Twitter search Cue what many people believe is the internet equivalent of the “close door” button on an elevator. I have enough experience in office buildings in New York to say that the elevator button works absolutely nothing, except to make whoever presses it look like a power-hungry jerk.

So I guess, in keeping with the half-measures theme, I should return the favor: if Twitter doesn’t let me see less of these posts, it might see less of me going forward.

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