Are you a selfish Twitter user? This tool will tell you

If you’re not on Team Followback then GTFU


Kate Knibbs


Published May 21, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 6:54 am CDT

Twitter’s critics question why people want to shout their banal thoughts into a digital echo chamber, but that’s never been what the micro-blogging network is about. At its core, Twitter is a communication tool, a way for people to interact and share. And that’s why a new tool called “Giver or Taker” wants to point out when people are being selfish tweeters. If people aren’t following back or sending out the occasional RT, they land in the Taker category.

The Daily Mail used Giver or Taker to analyze celebrities’ Twitter accounts and discovered that Piers Morgan was the biggest taker. Kim Kardashian came in second, and and Taylor Swift made this list as well. 

Testing the tool, I discovered that I am also a taker since I follow back 31 percent and I only RT 9 percent of the time. Yes, I don’t RT very often, but just because I like to get my tweet on original-content style doesn’t mean I’m a jerk. I fav with abandon! That wasn’t taken into account. I tell you who’s a jerk, this tool is a jerk. (It is fun to use, though, so long as you’re judging others with abandon!)

The problem with Giver or Taker is it makes being a taker sound like such a bad thing. Sure, some people are selfish Twitter users. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Kanye West doesn’t even bother to follow anyone except Kim Kardashian, let alone RT fans, and that’s just fine. If everyone tweeted and never bothered to read their feed or interact with anyone, then the service would become the vapid vanity vacuum of Jonathan Franzen’s nightmares… but if everyone just RTed each other and insisted on following back all the time, Twitter would be equally messed up. So don’t feel so bad if you’re deemed a taker. You’re probably in good company. 

H/T Daily Mail | Photo via Flickr/jennylynndesign (CC BY 2.0) 

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*First Published: May 21, 2014, 7:00 am CDT