Apparently there’s no context on Twitter

So it’s said, by nong after dreary nong around the interwebs. It’s just that one string of 140 characters, that’s it!

Because it’s not like individual tweets are part of a tweetstream which one can follow, that’s organised into a time line where one can see a train of thought emerge or anything.

Nope, nothing like that has been built into the tweeting system at all. No way. Nuh uh.

Context is just so impossible to examine on Twitter!

What a bunch of ignorant snobs.

Categories: media

Tags: , , , ,

12 replies

  1. This makes my head hurt.

  2. I have to say, I do vastly the thread style display of longer discussions See for an extreme example, but it is occasionally useful for intricate multi-participant conversations, especially if you don’t follow every participant.

  3. Maybe they’re just not very good readers.

  4. Ah, there you go again, expecting people to:
    a) talk about something they know about OR
    b) find out a little bit about something before they talk about it.
    How could you? How couldyou?
    *grumble grumble grumble, etc*

  5. If you keep your twitter stream private (like Larissa Berhendt does) then only people you have approved as followers can see the context in which you made your tweet. In her case presumably someone retweeted that one tweet which made it public (this is a bit of warning for twitter users who think their tweets are private because they restrict followers!), but only that one without any context. So anyone who was not a follower would not have been able to see the context in which it was made.

    • @Chris, The Behrendt issue was not the only instance of this repeated criticism of Twitter that prompted this post, but that is a useful aspect of the situation that I hadn’t known. I did think it was a rather carelessly worded opinion for a public figure to express even on Twitter, but knowing that it was locked makes that far more understandable. I bet she’s since pruned her followers list.
      I have however, in other cases especially in the USA, seen people refuse to accept immediately preceding (by less than 5 minutes) Tweets as providing context for the one tweet to which they objected. After all, they do the same time and time again with a single phrase in a blog post surrounded by preceding introductory and succeeding explicatory text.

  6. tigtog – Its possible that the first retweet of Behrendt’s tweet was quite innocent since that person may have seen the context that it was written in and not remembered that her tweets are protected (twitter clients I’ve seen don’t remind you of that).
    Even to non public figures I’d recommend to people to be quite careful as to how they word their tweets because it is so easy to be taken out of context (sometimes intentionally) and a lot of people won’t bother even trying to check the context. Before you know it an unknown person has become famous headline whether they like it or not.
    I do agree with Mary that better threading capabilities would really help – I find it a real pain to follow up on twitter conversations where I only follow a few of the people involved in the conversation. After a few hours or days it can be painful with most clients to even work out what order the comments were made in.
    Not sure if the newer style retweets support threading (would be nice if they do!).

  7. I have no trouble remembering which of the people on twitter I follow who have private accounts. there’s a little padlock symbol next to their name. Sure easy enough to overlook, but it’s not like it’s hard to check.

  8. Hi TT

    For the record the account and the entire conversations around the LB tweet were very public at the time. it was locked subsequent to the News Ltd blow up.

    Any article you read that repeats that the tweets were private, has it wrong.

  9. lol its been repeated so often by commentators along with other distortions that its just morphed into the truth.

    As i was part of the original conversation, and have all the transcripts, i think i know what happened 🙂

  10. Just for the record…
    Its impossible to retweet a comment fro a protected /private account, nor can they show up in the google cache of twitters public feed.
    Additionally original private tweets can be can be identified by a little padlock symbol next to the profile.

%d bloggers like this: