Wondering what the correct word to use for a person who is being followed. All I can think of is a followee, which doesn't seem correct. It's being used in a twitter like system of followers and people being followed (followees).

  • 1
    do you mean followed surreptitiously (the person being followed isn't aware of it) or everyone knows and is aware of the following?
    – Mitch
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:58
  • 9
    I think leader or quarry, depending on context
    – snumpy
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 17:22
  • I've a very similar question for fan
    – Wes
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 19:57
  • 1
    @snumpy: quarry is good enough to put in an answer. Commented May 25, 2011 at 0:27

8 Answers 8


According to this source here, the standard word is subject. Since Siljander wrote the book on the topic, presumably he would know.

  • +1. I laughed at first, but it does seem appropriate. Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:59

I immediately thought of cloak-and-dagger spycraft, where the person being followed would be the mark.


There is a clear need for such a term when describing what people do on Twitter, so that there is a symmetrical term to follower. Without it sentences are stilted and table headings a nightmare (as I'm finding). If you search for 'followee' on Twitter you will find that this word is already being used to describe a person that you follow. Initially it sounds anachronistic but usage soon makes it seem natural.


Generally, the word would be leader. Twitter certainly complicates things though; I'm not sure that word really applies. Follower isn't really the same meaning in that context either, so it's hard to say what should be used. Perhaps another word should be (mis)appropriated.

  • I will give you an upvote as it would apply in most situations, just but not in mine.
    – MitMaro
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 17:51
  • 1
    Leaders definitely lead followers but you don't have to be leading to have somebody follow you, think of stalkers or spies or paparazzi. Commented May 25, 2011 at 0:26

Someone who is following is a follower. Someone who is being followed, is the followed.

  • I realize that "the followed" isn't a single word. But, I think it conveys the idea you're going for. (The followers, and the followed). Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:56
  • That's great for an object ("Someone who is being followed is the followed") but what about a subject? "The followed tweeted to his followers" sounds very weird. (I agree with the below that "subject" is likely best for the subjective form, oddly enough; yay comment-editing). Commented May 2, 2011 at 16:58
  • 2
    Absolutely. I hadn't considered that usage, maybe Brian Hooper's answer is the best fit? "The subject tweeted to his followers." Commented May 2, 2011 at 17:00

Followee. "Squee, Justin Bieber is my followee!"


Well, you might try stalkee for someone who is being followed, given how the term stalker can now apply to Internet things like this.


This might be a good chance to popularize the neologism, memesta:

memesta - A digital gangsta who has a specific goal of spreading or popularizing a new unit of cultural information, and does so through a planned and concerted effort.

Meme becomes a more significant term for the info-saturation age based on how agile and fanned-out our new ways of "telling" are. Write about a meme on a popular blogging aggregate website and a potentially huge audience receives it. This may usher in the day of the memesta, a digital gangsta of ideas.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.