Twitter Lists Explained

I was on Facebook one day and I noticed that a friend posted something that said, “Listing gets you blocked.” I was a little perplexed, so I followed up and asked what she meant.

She explained that whenever someone added her to a list on Twitter, she would block them. I asked why she would do that? She thought a list was something like spam and she would get spammed or her Twitter account would get spammed.

My friend clearly did not understand what a Twitter List is.

So let me explain. A list is just a curated group of Twitter accounts. That is all it is, a group of Twitter accounts that are being followed by someone. Some people use them to organize their Twitter follows.

  • For example, I might make a list and put all the WordPress people I know in it, so if I want, I can go to that list and checkout only what my WordPress friends are doing.
  • I might make a list of locals on Twitter, so I can go to that list and checkout what my local Tweeps are up to.
  • Maybe I make a list of news sources, so I can go to that list and see all the news stories.

If you follow a lot of people, and if you’ve been on Twitter a long time like I have, your Twitter feed will eventually get quite full and if you don’t organize into lists, then you’ll miss posts that you might otherwise would have missed.

I know one guy who keeps a “happy” list, which includes Twitter folks who write things that make him happy. When he’s feeling down, he checks out that list.

Some of my favorite Twitter feeds revolve around animals (Emergency Pugs, We Rate Dogs, or Animals Being Jerks) I can add them all to an “Animals” list and then I can easily see what all those accounts are doing at any given time. It’s a hoot.

What does it mean for you when someone adds you to a list?

It doesn’t mean anything, really. It only means someone is following you, and wanted to organize your feed with other similar tweeters. Most of the time, you can safely ignore these.

What if someone adds me to a bad list?

This is uncommon, but for example’s sake, what if someone adds you to a list that you find inappropriate, such as one for pornography? You probably don’t want to have your account linked in that list. If that’s the case, you simply have to block the person who added you to the list and you’ll be off the list.

The truth of the matter is that Twitter lists are just a way to organize who you follow for easier reading based on subject. It’s like categories for Twitter. You don’t need to fear or block them!

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.


  1. Jon on October 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I had someone put me on a list change my profile name by one letter copy my header photo my regular photo and put my name just slightly changed on the top of this list as the only one on the list and the only subscriber he obviously was starting trouble lists are not good

    • Amy Masson on October 12, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      If you don’t want to be on someone’s list, all you have to do is block them and then you won’t be on their list anymore.

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