Little piece of advice to people when @replying to those who have a lot of twitter followers. Twitter @replies are not private messages. They're public, very public, you will show up in the timeline, you will show up underneath the original post and yes, plenty of people do use the website and can see that stuff. If the tweet gets linked, it's likely to be seen by even more people. When you're dealing with someone who has a lot of followers, it is very likely that the thing you said to them will receive a response from said followers. Freaking out about that is the exact wrong thing to do. I watched earlier as someone snarked about a comment I made and then went nuts when some of my followers, through no prompting of my own, disagreed with said person. There was a lot of "LEAVE ME ALONE" "I NEVER ASKED YOU" and "FUCK YOU, BLOCKED" going on. No see, you did ask them. As soon as you send an @reply to someone, you are inherently asking them and anyone else that reads it to respond. That's how social networking operates, that's how Twitter works. You really don't have much basis to complain if you decide to take potshots at somebody with a lot of followers, it's logical that some of those followers might decide to reply to you. If you want to avoid that well it's quite simple. Don't @reply people that have a lot of followers. I've had several people complain that I have "indirectly harassed them", merely by replying to something they said, which caused others to reply to them as well since y'know, @replies are public not private messages. That's on you.
Twitter is not a place for private conversations, everything you say, even if you directed it at me, is shouted across a crowded room and some of the people in that room might choose to respond to you. You don't get to flip out about that, or well you do, but you will look silly doing it. If you're not ok with the idea that other people read your tweets then I'd suggest not tweeting. Twitter sucks, but you can't bend the reality of how it works just because feelings. Apply a little common sense, you'd be surprised how far it gets you. If I could stop @replies from appearing in my public feed I would frankly, I'd rather just use Twitter to shout into the void but it doesn't work like that. Far too many people treat Twitter as a way to yell at the TV, but it's not. On Twitter the TV yells back and other people watching the TV might just tell you to shut up.