My thoughts on when to fwd, RT, re-post etc

This week has been a busy one for Bournemouth, hitting the headlines for a couple of the wrong reasons:

  1. The flash flooding
  2. The tragic loss of a red arrow at the airshow

We’ve also seen what has been dubbed as the “Schrodinger’s dictator” (conflicting reports of Gadaffi being alive and dead), which in a similar way closer to home also occurred with the red arrows pilot: some saying he was rescued alive by dog walkers, whilst others that he died on scene.

Add to this the false reports of riots doing the rounds on social networks and I felt a blog post was in order.

My thoughts in no particular order on when to RT / FWD or re-post:

  1. Please THINK before you post – it’s to easy to get caught up in the “first, first, first!” online culture.
  2. Forwarding unconfirmed rumors can become self-fulfilling (as I’m sure was partly the case with some riots around the UK). I saw (and due to past involvement in radio, started receiving phone calls!) a growth in rumors that the McDonalds in Bournemouth was on fire… having walked past it only 5 minutes earlier, I was quick to point out it most definitely was not to those asking me and subsequently onto twitter & Facebook.
    In the case of the pilot, whilst mainstream media was careful to state the situation of the pilot was unclear, many were saying he was alive – while I’m generally an optimist, imagine what his wife would of been going through if she’d been anxiously scouring the web for news…
  3. Consider the reliability of your sources – having a large number of followers does not necessarily make you either a reliable, or authoritative source – exhibit A: @queen_uk – a lot of people were RT’ing a post from a twitter account with a following in the ten of thousands, a quick look at it’s history made it clear it was a barely reliable (or literate!) source.
  4. Rule 32 of the internet: “Pics? or it didn’t happen” – if someone states something as fact, challenge them to provide proof, if in doubt don’t re-post or clearly label it as unconfirmed/unreliable.
  5. Use NSFW if the item you are forwarding is Not Safe For Work! (As a rule of thumb, if I wouldn’t share it with my mother, it’s NSFW).
  6. Remember not everyone loves: LOLcats / motivational saying / Jokes…

What would you add to the list?

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2 comments

  1. Consider not just who you follow, but also who follows you. Your comments may be acceptable for those you have chosen to follow, but Twitter allows freer networking than Facebook’s friend requests, so your Following audience is still unknown. In-jokes can have a nasty habit of offending others.

  2. This is a great pocket summary of how to win rather than lose followers. My only addition would be – don’t re-tweet too many times in too short a space of time.

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