Netiquette – The Cardinal Sin of Twitter

There are plenty of horrible things you can do on Twitter: use Jonas Brothers hashtags, follow Ashton Kutchner, randomly follow people in the vain hope that they’ll care about your Twitter enough to follow you. But there’s one thing above all that Twitter users should not do, so much so that it should be…Biblical.

Thou Shalt Not Start a Twitter Account And Not Include a Link For a Person To Follow and Find Out Who The Hell You Are.

There are two reasons for this; one, if you’re a human being, is a matter of common courtesy, and the other, if you’re trying to promote yourself, is a matter of common sense.

Most people know enough to not just randomly follow whoever follows them, especially if that person is named XiaoXia083428934 and wants to show you “Bri.tenyFU.CKED vids” (and they all have that vaguely repellent blowjob still. Ick.) And it’s fairly easy to spot Twitter spammers. But beyond that, there’s little room on Twitter to reveal who you are.

Really, following somebody is a compliment but potentially a backhanded one. It’s flattering to be followed, but unless you can spot who the person is, you find yourself wondering…who is this guy? Does he find me interesting, or do I exist to him only as a non-sexual notch in his belt, another follower to use to promote himself? This is why I’m rather judicious with the people I follow: I either know them personally, know them via the comedy writing, or stumble across them via my friends.

This is where the bio comes in. A quick click on the link to a blog and you see, oh, he followed you because you’re both Commedia enthusiasts, or gardeners, or into the same weird sexual fetish (hey, this is the Internet).

If your Twitter is for your own promotion…well…I could write an entire separate post on the sins of self-promoters. But the most integral is the lack of being able to figure out just what the hell you’re promoting. I get followed all the time and sometimes I’m confronted with a block of retweets on vaguely the same subject and literally nothing else. It seems to be administrated by a human, who has some sort of goal, but I have no idea what it is. So why should I follow him?

So, for the love of God, include a bio. If nothing else, it’ll save everybody some time.


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