Check Your “Klouchebag” Rating: How Obnoxious Are You on Twitter?

Slate's Culture Blog
April 27 2012 6:03 PM

Who Are the Real Klouchebags?

Actor Charlie Sheen.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Klouchebag, a site that rates Twitter accounts according to douchiness, hit the Internet today, inspired in part by a piece in Wired about the service Klout written by Slate’s own Seth Stevenson. Accounts are rated from 0 to 100 based on an amusing acronymic score—the ARSE scale:

Anger: profanity and rage
Retweets: "please RT"s, no or constant retweeting, and old-style.
Social Apps: every useless check-in on Foursquare or its horrible brethren.
English Usage: if you use EXCLAMATION MARKS OMG!!! or no capitals at all, this'll be quite high.

While the acronym is clever, Klouchebag’s standards don’t quite match those by which one would normally judge Twitter accounts—and they certainly don’t align with the brilliant “100 Twitter Rules to Live By” preached by CNBC’s Darren Rovell (who himself scores a 39 on Klouchebag). Consequently, the results, while amusing, aren’t a great reflection of how most people perceive reality. Is Jose Canseco really only "quite noisy"?


Canseco isn't the only oddly scored tweeter. Rupurt Murdoch gets a 6, making him “A Nice Person,” while Tim Tebow gets a 31, making him, “A Bit of a Prat.” Noted curmudgeon Louis C.K.—whose most famous tweets went after Sarah Palin in a rather ungentlemanly fashion—gets labeled “quite a nice person,” while the Twitter account of Girls creator Lena Dunham, whose Tweets have delighted even Dunham skeptics, is declared “facepalm central.”

The highest celebrity score we could find was Soulja Boy, who topped out at 85, giving him the honor of being “quite horrible.” Meanwhile, Barack Obama is currently leading Mitt Romney by a score of 33 to 43.

Tom Scott, the creator of the site, says it was “coded in a few hours’ frenzy after getting the idea,” so we’ll give him some leeway for the site’s questionable results—and we admire the concept. So, for Klouchebag 2.0, we recommend some additional criteria and a few other adjustments:

  • Frequency of tweets: This category might need to be scaled depending on the type of Twitter account in question, but, for a personal account, anything over 20 tweets per day warrants some kind of penalty.
  • Proper spelling and grammar: Capital-letter-free sentences and exclamation points are sometimes justified; typos are not. Run tweets through spellcheck—and maybe even give them a Flesch-Kincaid readability test.
  • Hashtag abuse: These are fun in small doses, insufferable in larger ones.
  • Profanity: What’s wrong with it? Anyone who reads the great Twitter feeds of Community creator Dan Harmon or filmmaker Kevin Smith knows foul language should not be regarded in itself as an artistic negative.

What did we miss? In the comments, let us know which metrics you’d like to see.



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