Opt Out of Klout - Now!

Sites like Klout and Kred are perfect examples of social media frippery. A vaguely plausible "score" that you can use to justify your "investment" in tweeting all day long. When they're used as a silly little badge, or an informal competition with friends, they're a (mostly) harmless way of gamification.

Of continual annoyance is the complete lack of transparency these services show. How is your score calculated? Is anyone manipulating it? What can you do to improve it?

Still, it doesn't matter, it's only a silly number, eh? No one takes it seriously, right?

Wrong. Yammer, the internal social network of choice for most businesses, have announced they're going to team up with Klout so managers can see employees' scores.

What was once just a daft badge is now something to be bought up at your annual performance review. Want that promotion? You'd better hope that spending all day getting retweeted by celebrities helps your "influencer" score.


It's time to withdraw our consent from these leeches who take our data, run it through an obfuscated process, and then attempt to sell it back to us.

It's time to stop being held open to blackmail. How long before they start offering a paid for service to help you improve your score?

It's time to refuse to be placed in an artificial competition where the rules are unknown and the results arbitrary.

Here's how you opt out of Klout.

  1. Visit http://klout.com/corp/optout
  2. Ignore their self-serving hogwash and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  3. Verify your identity with Twitter.
  4. Fill in a very short form telling them to go to hell.
  5. Hit "Submit".

Get on with your life and be happy. A number on a screen doesn't control your destiny; you do.

22 thoughts on “Opt Out of Klout - Now!

  1. says:

    Don't forget to revoke access to the "Klout Opt-Out" app in your Twitter settings when you're done.

    1. says:

      re revoking access to the "Klout Opt-Out" app. That's probably not a good idea. Without a token attached to your account an app can't know to leave you out of calculations. Without it you're just another unknown person whose actions will affect other people's clout scores. If you *really* want out of the system you should leave that in. I don't work for Klout, but I used to work for a company that did behaviorally targeted advertising and having something like that in place really is the only way to allow someone to completely opt-out. It seems stupid that to not pay attention to someone we would have to tag them, but that's just the way the logic plays out.

  2. Kate L. says:

    Even better, the opt-out specific app is demanding access to
    " • Read Tweets from your timeline.
    • See who you follow."
    They have zero need to know either of those to authenticate you, either they're completely clueless or they're leaving the door opent to abuse things later.

  3. Kate L. says:

    Ah, thanks. Has that always been the case? The last time I looked at implementing app authentication through them was quite a while back and I didn't notice it then, but I wasn't actively looking.

    1. Pretty much. Twitter only offer two permissions - "read public" and "Read, Write and Direct Messages". It would be great if they were more fine grained - eg "Read and Write but not my DMs" or "See my friend list but don't delete my tweets" etc.

  4. Maybe I have my head in the sand, but what employer would ever use your klout score as part of your performance review? I can see it being a requirement for hiring a "social media strategist" but as part of a performance review in relation to your personal accounts? I'm not sure about that. If anything they'd demand it on the company's social media accounts and the company would link it to Klout anyway.

    1. It depends on your job - and your manager. Even if you're not in a marketing role, you can be expected to promote the business. I've seen that happen at start-ups and megacorps. Or, perhaps the inverse is true and a manager wants someone who isn't influential so they can't rock the boat. Or, in some cases, your boss is just looking for an excuse to cut you - what better way than a metric over which you have no control?
      It's a bit like tic-tac-toe - the only winning move is not to play.

  5. From the original article: "Companies can also set up employees' profiles so they receive Yammer-specific Klout scores, which are determined by engagement with the company's Yammer network." So it's not that they are going to be looking at your Klout score... They're going to essentially be looking at your "Yammer" score, which is on Klout... It's still silly, but a bit different than how I felt like it was being presented.

    ....also..... Klout is lame.

  6. prosecute says:

    "A number on a screen doesn't control your destiny; you do."

    ...followed by 7 numbers and a smattering of social media icons 🙂

  7. 3-D says:

    Or, you know, refuse to work for any employer that gives a crap about this stuff. Seriously, if an employer wants to give me a performance review based on any aspect of my personal life, they're not an employer I want to work for.

    1. I'm glad that you're so highly employable that you can change jobs whenever you want. I'm glad you don't have a family to feed while you're looking for an employer who doesn't use Klout. I'm pleased that the job market is so buoyant, and that - anyway - your current company will never change its ways.

      What should the rest of us do?

  8. Giggling Lynn says:

    Klout is a tool. If you use it as a tool and understand its numerous limitations and drawbacks, good for you. Please don't use it for ego fluffing though. If things like Klout make you happy, more power to you. But I do see the whole kind of obsession as more than a bit meaningless and wasteful. First of all, the Klout score is just one company's opinion on an algorithm. There are lots of ways to assign some kind of score to social value. There's nothing inherently meaningful or objective about it. Second of all, even if you're focused on this as some kind of ego stroking thing, the people you're measuring yourself can and do game the system. The number of companies at http://www.buytwitterfollowersreviews.com/ is indicative of that. But generally speaking, there are more productive things in your life to be focused on than some arbitrary score.

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