As I hope to have made clear in the title, I am not wasting my or your time here to rail against harassment, stalking, or espousing bigotry of any type. These things are repugnant no matter what form of media is used to transmit them. I think most sane people are disappointed that Twitter has done an awful job of addressing these issues.
Instead, I would like to share some common behaviors in the Twittershpere that are annoying me more and more.
1) Accounts that retweet virtually every single word of praise they receive
Everyone loves positive feedback. I think it is an element of human nature to want to share received praise…we all rushed home to show mom good notes on our grade school report cards. Even so, when you feel the need to flood the timelines of your followers with how great people think you are, it makes you look extremely insecure. Donald Trump is the king of this, but plenty of far less odious personalities on Twitter engage in the practice.
2) Accounts that retweet the same content over and over and over
I get it. When you or your website produce something you believe is worthy of attention, you want to do whatever you can to get it. Obviously, the majority of Twitter users are not monitoring their feeds constantly, or for even most of any given day. Go ahead and retweet a link to something good several times. If you preface such retweets with “ICYMI” (in case you missed it), it is a nice way to let your most faithful followers know this is something they have probably already read. When you retweet the same content 20+ times over the course of days (or, in some cases, WEEKS), you are telling these same faithful followers that you are willing to risk annoying them in favor of reaching more casual readers.
3) Accounts with a following related to a specific topic that feel the need to comment on EVERY celebrity news item
I have nothing against “celebrity news” at all. I will also confess to having been wrapped up in the celebrity death announcement game from time to time. That is, trying to be the first person among an online community (or group of friends offline) to spread the news of a famous person’s passing. Having said that, so many people on Twitter who have a following related to a very specific topic seem to also fancy themselves popular culture commentators.
Here is an example: if I follow you because you are a prominent journalist covering international soccer, I am not relying on your feed to inform me of the death of Robin Williams, or Jon Stewart leaving The Daily Show. Furthermore, there is a good chance I DON’T CARE about your thoughts or reflections on either topic. Perhaps this sounds harsh. I know I have a wide variety of interests, so do the people I follow on Twitter. However, if I am following you because of my specific interest in a topic on which you are an expert, I feel a bit like a captive audience if I am constantly subjected to your views on things totally unrelated. Run a second account if you have SO much to say on topics other than that for which you are known!
Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.