How to Block Tweets Over 140 Characters (If You Really Must)

After over a decade of staunchly restricting users to 140 characters in each message, Twitter just flipped the switch and enabled 280 characters in most supported languages. And not everyone is happy.

Most users seem at least grudgingly accepting of the new dynamic, but if you just can’t stand all these Double Stuff tweets for some reason, here’s how to hide them in your browser.

On the Twitter Homepage

There are already multiple Chrome extensions that will either completely hide 141+ character tweets, or simply truncate them down to the original limit. The best one I’ve found is called 140 Characters Only. When installed and enabled, it simply cuts off any tweet on Twitter’s homepage or embedded tweets that goes for more than 140 characters. Like this:

Left: a standard extra-long tweet. Right: the same tweet truncated with 140 Characters Only.

If you’d like something a little more flexible, Block280 will collapse 141+ character tweets, showing you the original poster and anyone in the message chain. It’s better for someone who wants to completely ignore all long tweets, but it was made a couple of months before the full switch, and it has some issues. Specifically, it will block any message with a chain or attachments that go beyond the original 140 character limit, including embedded links and images. It’s great if you want to restrict your feed to only short text messages, but limited otherwise.

At the time of writing Tweets Truncator trims Twitter messages for Firefox users, but there doesn’t appear to be an option for Opera. That may change rather quickly as Twitter users get tired of the Double Stuff life.

Note that all of these extensions require permission to see everything you view on Twitter.com, but seeing as those are fairly light permissions, we’re comfortable recommending them.

On TweetDeck

If you prefer TweetDeck for your tweet-reading, the open source third-party extension Better TweetDeck has you covered. It’s available for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.

Download and install it, then go to the extension settings page and click “Content.” Click the check box next to the setting marked “Enable regular expression support in Mute filters.” Click “save” at the top of the page.

Now go to TweetDeck itself in a new tab. Click the settings gear icon in the lower-left corner, then click “Mute.”

Under the “Matching” entry, add this text: ^[^]{141,}$ and click “Mute.”

Now every tweet over 140 characters will disappear from all of your TweetDeck columns. Neat, huh? The mute function will appear on all Twitter products, but it will only affect TweetDeck in browsers with the Better TweetDeck extension installed and regular expression support enabled. To reverse this change, just delete the mute filter.

On Mobile

At the time of this writing, there’s no way to block or truncate longer tweets on Android or iOS apps. Keep an eye on the more active mobile developers, however—it’s likely that such a feature is on their to-do lists.

Michael Crider has been covering technology on the web since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order. He wrote a novel called Good Intentions: A Supervillain Story, and it's available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter if you want.