new to queer twitter? just made your account? came out recently? well, lucky for you, i’m going to save you a whole bunch of heartache with the official:
JESS FROM ONLINE GUIDE TO QUEER TWITTER ETTIQUITE
1. REPLYING TO SELFIES
this is everyone’s first mistake. does the poster follow you? if not: you are a “rando”. a stranger. do not tweet at them as you would a friend. what does this mean practically?
- do not proposition them
- do not make a “playful” rude joke
- do not make a sexual comment or observation
best general rule: do not place yourself in the reply. if you want to compliment someone, you can do that, but be careful with “i” or “me”.
yes, this includes “i’m gay!”. while not true of everyone, many people will be made uncomfortable by the way that places *you* into the compliment. this is okay to do with friends, but not when you’re a rando!
final note: jealousy is not a compliment! attempting to compliment them but telling them how you wished you looked like that or how much better you look is you venting your dysphoria, not a compliment, and can be very upsetting to read!
2. RETWEETING SELFIES
some people love having their selfies retweeted. some people absolutely hate it. it’s best that you know which someone is before you RT that selfie. if a selfie has 10+ RTs already you’re probably good. otherwise, if you dont know, ask first!
3. FOLLOWING LOCKED ACCOUNTS
many people have a private “locked”/“sad”/“vent” account and a private “AD”/“lewd” account
if you come across a private account and you don’t know who it is or you’re not mutuals with their main DO NOT REQUEST TO FOLLOW
4. OTHER PEOPLE’S MENTIONS
if you see two people talking in a reply chain and you don’t know either party (or if you’re being safe, both parties) DO NOT FAV OR REPLY. reply chains are a private convo between two people and many people find it very uncomfortable!
5. CAREFUL WHO YOU TAG
if someone mentions a person, especially a microcelebrity, who has a twitter account, but doesn’t use ther @, that’s probably for a reason! don’t tag someone you don’t know just because someone else you don’t know is talking about them.
6. HORNY ON MAIN
here’s a controversial one. while not everyone finds it acceptable, it’s not uncommon for queer people to be horny on their public accounts nowadays. that said, THIS DOES NOT GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO BE HORNY AT THEM.
a person having sexual content on main says “i am okay with you opting into seeing my sexuality” not “i am opting in to seeing your sexuality”. if you’re a rando, you probably shouldn’t reply with or tag someone in horny-on-main content.
7. REPLYING TO RTS
don’t make us tap the sign. if you’re going to reply to a retweet, either be 100% sure it’s Premium Content or, more safely, pull up the tweet separately so you can reply to it without including the person who retweeted it.
don’t make me tap the sign pic.twitter.com/WIOor5EgMw— Casey Kolderup (@ckolderup) December 19, 2017
8. TWEETS YOU “SHOULDN’T SEE”
twitter is terrible and implements features that break ettiquite patterns. as a general rule: faving or replying to tweets of people that you don’t follow that haven’t been retweeted or visibly quote tweeted will likely make someone uncomfortable.
9. CURATE YOUR FOLLOWERS
this is more advanced, but also important. if you allow bad followers, it means that you expose those you retweet to bad followers. unless you don’t plan to ever retweet people, it’s impolite to be irresponsible about followers. what does this look like?
first, if a rando is homophobic, transphobic, racist, ableist, etc. in your mentions, block/softblock.
second, if someone breaks these rules in your mentions, gently correct them. if unsuccessful or dont have the bandwith, then block/softblock.
third, are you trans? especially a trans woman? do you post selfies? you’re going to start getting chasers! these are men who fetishize trans people/trans women and will follow you to jerk it to your selfies. it’s disgusting! (cont.)
for the sake of both those you RT and *yourself*, watch out of chasers. i vet almost every follower, but a good rule of thumb: no icon, generic male name and icon, or entire bio in language that is not your’s, means check their “Following” or
“Likes”. if they’re a chaser their likes will usually be full of pornography of trans women and their “Following” will be contain mix of both porn + non-porn accounts of trans women. BLOCK THESE PEOPLE ON SIGHT. i usually block a couple each day.
10. DON’T REPEAT YOURSELVES
this is a good rule in any twitter community: before you reply with a joke or suggestion, especially to a popular tweet or account, check the existing replies. make sure this isn’t the second (or tenth) time someone had said the same thing. i realize some of these rules are unintuitive! this is why i’m collecting them; it’s always felt a little unfair that people are expected to “just know” them. it’s ok to have messed up. many of us learned the hard way. but hopefully this will help that happen less often!
11. TAGGING OUT
almost missed a big one. if youre going to have a conversation in replies between two people who aren’t the original poster, you should remove the OP. anything more than 2 back and forths without OP and make sure you tag them out aka remove them from reply chain.
12. BIGOTS IN REPLIES
similarly, if you feel like you need to reply to a bigot in someone’s mentions, do NOT include the @ of the OP in the reply. they may have even blocked the bigot and now your replies to them are in OP’s mentions, and that is Not Good. something i’ve definitely learned from having this thread go viral is just how many people are fine being rude and making people uncomfortable because they “disagree” with a social convention
This is a great set of general rules for everyone on Twitter, not just for the particular audience to whom it’s directed. There are a few things on it that I’ve been aware of but sometimes don’t actively practice, though I’ll try to make more of an effort in future.
hat tip to Greg McVerry
The "controversy" over hiring tech journalist Sarah Jeong, explained.
I was just thinking about the Quinn Norton episode the other day, and along comes this nice follow up. It’s nice to see that big institutions are coming to understand the trolling- (and some might say bot-) culture and making more clear-headed distinctions.
Another related case can potentially be found with Kevin Williamson at The Atlantic.
I saw the internet create and destroy a bizarro version of myself.
I’ve been reading some pieces from my archive on context collapse and people losing jobs/opportunities as the result of online bullies digging up old social media posts which has become a bigger issue as of late. Many people have been wanting to leave social media platforms for their toxic cultures, and this seems to be a subset of that in that it has people going back and deleting old social posts for fear of implications in the present.
Quinn Norton has some relatively sage advice about the internet in this piece. Of course it’s no coincidence that The New York Times editorial board wanted to hire her.
Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia
History doesn’t ask you if you want to be born in a time of upheaval, it just tells you when you are. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM
I have a teenage daughter, and I have told her all her life that all the grown-ups are making it up as they go along. I have also waggled my eyebrows suggestively while saying it, to make it clear to her that I mean me, too. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:00AM
This taught me that not everyone worthy of love is worthy of emulation. It also taught me that being given terrible ideas is not a destiny, and that intervention can change lives. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:02AM
Not everyone believes loving engagement is the best way to fight evil beliefs, but it has a good track record. Not everyone is in a position to engage safely with racists, sexists, anti-Semites, and homophobes, but for those who are, it’s a powerful tool. Engagement is not the one true answer to the societal problems destabilizing America today, but there is no one true answer. The way forward is as multifarious and diverse as America is, and a method of nonviolent confrontation and accountability, arising from my pacifism, is what I can bring to helping my society. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:03AM
I am not immune from these mistakes, for mistaking a limited snapshot of something for what it is in its entirety. I have been on the other side. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:04AM
I had been a victim of something the sociologists Alice Marwick and danah boyd call context collapse, where people create online culture meant for one in-group, but exposed to any number of out-groups without its original context by social-media platforms, where it can be recontextualized easily and accidentally. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:05AM
I had even written about context collapse myself, but that hadn’t saved me from falling into it, and then hurting other people I didn’t mean to hurt. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:06AM
It helped me learn a lesson: Be damn sure when you make angry statements. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
Don’t internet angry. If you’re angry, internet later. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
Context collapse is our constant companion online. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:07AM
I used to think that showing someone how wrong they were on the internet could fix the world. I said a lot of stupid things when I believed that. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:08AM
I am not, and will never be, a simple writer. I have sought to convict, accuse, comfort, and plead with my readers. I’m leaving the majority of my flaws online: Go for it, you can find them if you want. It’s a choice I made long ago. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:09AM
If you look long enough you can find my early terrible writing. You can find blog posts in which I am an idiot. I’ve had a lot of uninformed and passionate opinions on geopolitical issues from Ireland to Israel. You can find tweets I thought were witty, but think are stupid now. You can find opinions I still hold that you disagree with. I’m going to leave most of that stuff up. In doing so, I’m telling you that you have to look for context if you are seeking to understand me. You don’t have to try, I’m not particularly important, but I am complicated. When I die, I’m going to instruct my executors to burn nothing. Leave the crap there, because it’s part of my journey, and that journey has a value. People who came from where I did, and who were given the thoughts I was given, should know that the future can be different from the past. ❧
August 03, 2018 at 08:13AM
Why linguistic urban legends go viral online
I can’t wait to have not only salmentions, but saltruths as a thing. This way when people spread bogus information online and it gets shared, then potentially one (or a few posts) could travel back upstream and to debunk the whole thing.
Of course, how are we to architect such a thing?!
If you want to delete yours too, here's how.
An astonishing percentage of what I do with my clients’ web copy involves eradicating the phrase “click here” from their links. For more information, click here.
You see it everywhere. Everyone’s doing it, so it must be a best practice, right?
Wrong. It’s the worst possible practice. You should never, ever use “click here” in a web link.
“Click here” requires context.
Some good solid advice here for creating links!