The other day, ecib and I were having a conversation about following and unfollowing on Hubski. He made the point that 'unfollowing' someone can be a bit uncomfortable at times, because it might be considered to be a negative opinion towards that user.
IMO it is important that people feel the freedom to curate their feed based upon content rather than user relationships. For that reason, I see how displaying user relationships could be problematic.
ecib suggested that we make following anonymous; in that case, you can see the number of people that follow you, but you cannot see their names.
Personally, I think this might be going too far, as someone that starts following you might be someone that you would like to follow in turn. In addition, I think people (especially new users), might be reasonably suspicious about follower numbers that cannot be verified. Furthermore, it might be argued that high-lighting user relationships improves the discourse we have here, as it stresses the connectivity between users; however, I am not sure if this is true or not.
After thinking on it, I suggested to ecib that one solution would be to drop the follow color (green) and the co-follower color (blue-green), and only highlight the users that you follow (blue). Although this wouldn't completely alleviate 'unfollow guilt', it would make unfollowing much less obvious, and people might feel more free to do it.
I'm interested to hear everyone else's thoughts are on the issue.