The Way of the Weasel

Say you want to play the tough guy on Twitter, but would rather not be taken to task on your proclamations. Here is a technique you can use to publicly insult/challenge/criticize someone by name without them knowing about it.

Let’s assume you want to challenge Internet darling Chuck Norris to a duel, but aren’t too sure that the result of an actual fight would look like The Way of the Dragon (with you as Bruce Lee and Chuck as Chuck). So you would prefer that he didn’t hear about your challenge. Here is the process to follow.

  • First, in the “settings” page of your Twitter account, check the “protect my tweets” option.
  • Then write your challenge tweet, e.g. “I challenge @ChuckNorris to a fight to death but the coward will probably never dare to answer this tweet.”
  • Then, back on the “settings” page, uncheck “protect my tweet”.

Voila. All your followers will see your bravado and Chuck Norris will never hear about it. No trace should remain of this subterfuge once it’s over and the whole thing can be done in a couple of seconds.

Note that this only works if Chuck doesn’t follow you direclty. This method prevents someone from noticing your tweet in the list of mentions of their @username but it doesn’t prevent your followers from seeing the tweet. Which is the whole point, since you want your followers to see what a tough guy you are. You would just rather not face the consequences.

Anyway, I just thought this was an interesting corner case. Not that I or any of my readers would be ever do this, but be aware that it’s something someone (who takes Twitter too seriously) could do.

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