Can You Make Rules for Your Twitter Account?
Posted by Talknowledgy
I recently saw an exchange between an elected official and a constituent on Twitter. This particular constituent was being belligerent and angry and seemed to be there to troll this particular politician. The politician tried to tell his aggressor that his Twitter page had ‘rules’ which meant no calling people names, and no inaccurate information should be used in arguments (though with so much of politics being spin, that’s a bit of a laughable rule). There are likely other rules, but they weren’t mentioned in this particular exchange.
You probably have ‘rules’ for your Facebook page, whether you think you do or not. I tend to remove racier content, swearing, and things that don’t tend to reflect my values. I also have some privacy settings up as I’m sure most do. Even if they’re unspoken, you do have rules and you play a content moderator role on your page. It is, after all, yours.
Trying to enforce rules on your Twitter profile, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging. You can’t really control who mentions you or what they say (That being said, those tweets won’t show up on your profile unless you retweet it so it’s less critical that you play that moderator role). Naturally, no one wants to be poked and prodded in public by a keyboard warrior so you can ask nicely. But if you’re an elected official or other public figure, how likely do you think it is that the people you serve are going to follow your orders when they’re clearly disrespecting you for some reason?
Ultimately sometimes people just tweet to vent, and will back off once they know they’ve been heard. One tactic I like to use is following them to let them know the message was received. If you’re already following them, you can direct message them to attempt to either let them know you saw your message (a quick “Thanks for your feedback!” out to do it) or persuade them to change their mind (by no means am I suggesting you do all your customer service behind closed doors, however – just when you sense you might be dealing with a troll or someone who can’t be persuaded or reasoned with). But generally speaking, I don’t think tweeting people to tell them, “I’m the boss and I’m in charge and these are my rules will get you very far.”
What about you? Do you think you can have rules on your Twitter page? Or is it simply that you can have ‘rules of engagement’ but not conduct rules? Leave me a comment!
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Posted on 09/03/2012, in Opinion, Talknowledgy News and tagged Blog, Canada, Opinion, Ottawa, Phil Gaudreau, Social Media, Talknowledgy, Technology, The Internet, Tweet, Twitter. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.