how to do that thing that i did
enough people have asked so here’s what I did.
you might have seen this tweet where i left out a couple steps because you know, just four images but here what i did and some background info
after twitter was kind enough to alert me, as well as you probably, of how they changed their terms of service to better serve you advertisements, i looked into my settings to disable as many of their new ad features as possible. for a lot of people, twitter enabled settings like ad personalization or even renabled them. we’re going to start by going into your settings, then to your Personalization and Data settings
turn off all of these. twitter will ask you to confirm that and like, yeah duh of course. why would you want creepy personalized ads. advertisers are just trying to think of new ways for you to be comfortable with them and that only gets more and more pervasive.
you’re gonna need to go to Your Twitter Data settings next. this includes all the data you’ve given to twitter, basic account data like your user id number (every account has one. twitter used to use an internal program called “Snowflake” [lmao] to generate specific id numbers for various content on the service like tweets and stuff. check out this blog about it) and when you made your account, but it also gives you some of the data that twitter has assumed about you like your gender, age range, interests. theres also potentially data here that you haven’t outright given twitter like apps on your phone, etc. whats also here is a way to download a list of accounts that you’ll see ads from.
request that list and you’ll get a copy in yr email in a few minutes. its kinda long depending on some metrics that twitter has idk how that all works. anyway yr pdf looks something like this
what you gotta do now is convert all those account names to their user ID number and this is the hardest part of this. you could manually enter all these accounts into a list and export that as a csv. you could do that through blockbot or whatecer. what i used and what this guide is based around is using a script from blockspring to do it.
this specific script takes their username and does requests through twitters api to get their user id number. the best thing about the blockspring script is that an account is free for two weeks, you dont need to know how to code to do it and it works with google sheets as well as excel. follow the guide to install whatever add on you need (i used google sheets)
what yu need to do first is to format the list. your list might look like this and you’ll just need to change any spaces in your new document to line breaks. to do that copy and paste a linebreak into your “find and replace” box or whatever its called for you and replace ever space with a line break.
copy and paste tis into your new spreadsheet. then you need to remove all the @ from the user names. use find and replace or whatever your text editor calls it or like this in google sheets, to replace the @ with nothing. dont put anything in the “replace with…” box.
now just run the script. you’ll need to add the block and make sure you select every cell with an account name in it. after you run the blockspring script you’ll have all these extra columns. delete everything thats not in the A column.
there would be a screenshot here but i cant reconnect reconnect blockspring to my account. i hope this step makes sense.
now save/export your list as a csv and upload it
then confirm everything and wow congrts you blocked a bunch of advertisers (idk why my list is off by 200, maybe i blocked them already?? maybe their id numbers got messed up? idk it worked fine i guess) you’re also gonna wind up blocking ppl like bernie sanders and newspapers so maybe proof read things first or unblock those accounts when you notice them
there are some other options that might be interesting depending on your experience with coding and frameworks and whatnot.
this one uses ruby. it looks really easy and like a very little step process. chekc it out!!!
check em out and learn some stuff ok cya
i didnt want to write this but information wants to be free and all that and advertisers are bad. this is basically adbusting or culture jamming or whatever adbusters mag wants to call it. you owe advertisers nothing and free services are only free because theyre making money off your content.