How Mute Erodes What’s Great About Twitter

Twitter introduced Mute earlier this week, a feature that makes following someone just like friending on Facebook: an empty gesture.

Following is fraught. Twitter’s simple-on-purpose social interface–you are either following someone’s tweets, which means they visibly populate your feed, or you aren’t, and they don’t–has nevertheless led many a tweeter to obsess about what a follow really means. An endorsement? An expectation? A subscription? It was hard to tell. Well, Twitter has now settled the issue by introducing a feature called “mute.” From now on, what following really means is essentially the same as what friending on Facebook means: absolutely nothing.

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