Oceania has always been following Eastasia

I hadn’t really noticed this formally until yesterday, but apparently once you follow someone in Twitter, all their previous updates are retroactively incorporated into your timeline, as if you had been following that person forever.

That’s a slightly puzzling behavior: Usually, if I follow someone, it’s because I’ve already looked at their profile and checked out their updates.  I don’t really need to have their old tweets spliced into my timeline (for one thing, I’m probably not going to see them anyway, because I’m not looking for their posts there–after all, I wasn’t following them).  It also slightly falsifies the idea that this is *my* timeline, because new people are constantly being introduced into it.

Also, and admittedly this is an unusually specific concern, it shifts the burden to me to keep track of when I started following the person.  For certain teaching-related uses, that’s a bit irritating.

(I Am Not a Programmer, but doesn’t this also contribute to load issues?  Every time high-volume posters get followed, the server has to dish up all the posts they’ve ever made.  Seems unnecessary.)

As always, you can find me on Twitter here.

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2 Responses to Oceania has always been following Eastasia

  1. Dan Russell says:

    Perhaps Twitter could insert an event into your timeline ALA facebook’s Mini-Feed to notify of people following or unfollowing you, or you following or unfollowing others.

  2. jbj says:

    That’d be good–it already generates the e-mail when someone else follows you, but I’ve always thrown those away after making the reciprocate/don’t reciprocate decision.

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