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# Simple script to send you email when someone unfollows you on twitter.
# Replace email on line 24 with the email you want to receive notifications at, and
# twitter handle on line 23 with your own (or whomever you want to track unfollows for).
# Set up a crontab to check however often you like. If someone follows and then unfollows you
# very quickly (within the interval), you won't get an email.
# Requires that you can send mail from the command line of the environment where
# you're running the script using mailx, e.g. `echo "body" | mailx -s "subject"
# If that's not the case, see
# The script will create a file, "followers.csv" in the working directory - that file must
# remain there in order to do the comparison.
# If you find this useful, follow me on twitter @andrewpbrett. If you unfollow me, I won't
# be offended - but I will know about it :-)
# This thing was written, tested, and gisted in all of about 30 minutes, so anyone is free to
# improve, copy etc. and use for any purpose, free of charge.
require 'rubygems'
require 'hpricot'
require 'open-uri'
username = "andrewpbrett"
def get_followers(username, cursor = -1)
start_url = "{username}.xml?cursor=#{cursor}"
followers = []
doc = Hpricot::XML(open(start_url))
(doc/:user/:screen_name).each do |u|
followers << u.inner_html
cursor = (doc/:next_cursor).inner_html.to_s.strip
if cursor != "0"
followers += get_followers(username, cursor)
return followers
doc = open("followers.csv")
rescue"followers.csv", 'w') {|f| f.write(get_followers(username).join(',')) }
doc = open("followers.csv")
commas =
previous_followers = commas.split(',')
current_followers = get_followers(username)
unfollowers = previous_followers - current_followers
if !unfollowers.empty?
`echo "These users have just unfollowed you on twitter: " +
"#{unfollowers.join(', ')}" | mailx -s "You've been unfollowed!" #{email}`
end"followers.csv", 'w') {|f| f.write(get_followers(username).join(',')) }
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