Oh why won’t you just go away

21 Jan

I’ve only suffered Twitter’s new ‘Who is this?’ non-feature for less than a day, and yet it’s sufficiently irritated me that I feel the pressing need to post a short yet disproportionately angry blog post about it. In case you don’t use Twitter (or do, and are just unfairly lucky), it looks like this:

The way I see it (which is indisputably correct, wise and fair at all times), this box utterly fails in three different regards:

1) It asks me if I’m wondering who it is, then makes no effort to tell me despite being very easily able to do so. Instead, if I DO want to know who it is – in the unlikely event that the name or picture doesn’t give away the famous comedian, Guardian writer or chat show host – then it’s up to me to find out. There’s nothing wrong with user agency, but to pose such a question then expect the answer to be anything other than “no”, “yes, tell me” or “no, I don’t care” is folly. The final of the three possible answers brings me on to…

2) If I’ve either stopped caring or never cared in the first place, there’s no visibly apparent method of making the stupid damn little box go away and leave me to microblog in peace. There’s the Close button, sure, but this tells terrible lies: the box will reappear as soon as you reload the page. I’ve had ulcers that were less irritating and buggered off quicker than this box.

3) It covers up part of the page – specifically, a part that has nothing to do with the contents of the box or what the box is referring to. Twitter has parked itself, clad in an afro wig and gibus, in the cinema seat directly in front of yours, and no matter how many times it agrees to move it returns to that seat every five minutes. It’s obviously a bastard.

At least when Facebook rolls out each new, increasingly pointless profile redesign it gives you a simple yes/no switch to let you choose when exactly it becomes forced upon you, which then disappears. I honestly can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe other websites could stand to be a bit more like Facebook.

Addendum: this is the first post on this blog I wrote while under the influence of something other than a multi-hour game marathon. As far as I can tell there is little difference, except I made curiously fewer spelling errors.


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