Monday 15 August 2011

Why You Should Think Before Swearing On Twitter

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There is a lot of profanity on Twitter (and social media in general). It's easy for us to let out a few hastily chosen expletives to express how were are feeling in the heat of the moment - whether good or bad.

But should you swear at a brand or company on social media?

I've seen quite a few F-bombs directed at companies via Twitter. On Facebook it's slightly more difficult due to the built in profanity filter. Oh, you didn't know about that? Yep, when you write on a Facebook Page's Wall, if the profanity filter is triggered, it will mark your post as spam and it will only be visible to the Page admins. Don't go round saying your post has been removed - it hasn't, it's just sitting in a spam filter along with other posts selling stuff, phishing or using other language that Facebook deems to be unacceptable.

But back to Twitter. There's a certain amount of anonymity with Twitter and this tends to remove the inhibitions that might exist when face to face. Would you use the same language if you were standing in front of a staff member in a retail store? I'm guessing not - one of the reasons might be that swearing in front of an actual person can be offensive and embarrassing, and another reason is that you would probably be asked to leave the premises.

However, it pays to remember that even online there is an actual person whose job it is to read your tweet and respond to it. Swearing and being generally offensive won't win you extra points (just think about how YOU would react to someone swearing at you), and its not necessary to get your point across.

So just keep that in might the next time you are thinking about dropping the F-bomb in a tweet. A few manners can go an awful long way.

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