Deleted Twitter Rules by Denise Romano, May, 2013
One should not set rules for others that one does not follow oneself…cuz crazy.
My Twitter Rules
1. If you don’t like my tweets or if you think I tweet too much, please feel free to unfollow me. No hard feelings.
I tweet when I have the physical energy to do so. I usually have to take advantage of that within a single block of time. This is a result of disabilities.
Sometimes our imperfect moments clash with others’ imperfect moments and prevent what might have been a solid progressive connection. How might we prevent this to strengthen the Left? I propose: Rational Thinking, Reasonable Communication Skills and Sound Conflict Resolution Skills.
You don’t have to thank me for RTing you or favorite-ing your tweets; the pleasure is mine.
2. Do not steal my tweets and pass them off as your own.
3. Do Not Try To Sell Me Stuff
4. If you disagree with me and wish to tell me, I’m happy to discuss it if I have the physical energy and if you use respectful communication skills and are rational and civil.
If I don’t respond, do not take it personally. I may just not have the physical energy to do so – or I might have reached a daily limit for tweets and not be able to reply.
5. RTs do not equal endorsement or agreement.
6. If you do not communicate with me with civility, do not expect civility in return.
Do consider that most people are dealing with some kind of hardship whether it’s health, financial, workplace, relationship or family. The internet is not a place for you to unleash your frustrations and aggressions on others. Think before you tweet.
The likelihood that you are tweeting people who are struggling with something is great. Do you really want to be rude to a fellow progressive?
7. Please Consider What is Humorous And What Isn’t
If you want to tweet something sarcastic or jokey to me and I don’t know you well enough to understand your humor or it isn’t clear that you don’t really mean what you’re saying, do not be surprised if I and others have no idea you’re trying to be funny.
8. Please Do Not Tell Me What To Tweet Or Not
If you believe posting and signing petitions about issues is useless, you’re entitled. If you don’t want to sign a petition I tweet, don’t sign it. If it bothers you that I tweet lots of petitions, unfollow me.
If I tweet about Aaron Swartz, and you send me a message saying “I respectfully ask you to not tweet about Aaron Swartz because he committed suicide, and it upsets me” – I will reply: ”I respectfully ask you to not tell me what to tweet”.
If you think a petition should be started about something, do not tweet me “You should start a petition about this”. YOU start the petition. I have limited energy.
9. Be Nice Or Leave
If you want to discuss a disagreement, misunderstanding or conflict with me, by all means, please do – but do so with civility, emotional intelligence, rational thinking, intellectual honesty and using sound conflict resolution skills.
It’s very easy for there to be misunderstandings on Twitter because there are limits of 140 characters, and we don’t have the benefit of non-verbal communication: facial expression, tone of voice, etc.
Conflict and misunderstanding among humans are inevitable. That isn’t a bad thing. What matters is how these are handled. It is wise to PREVENT conflict and misunderstanding by being clear, rational and civil.
When conflict and misunderstanding are handled well, there can be increased respect, understanding and connection among people. Conflict and misunderstandings can become positive growth experiences, and this requires effort and energy.
If you are worth that effort and energy, you will show everyone that by being civil, rational and intellectually honest.
10. Do Not Spam-Block Me If I’ve Never Tweeted You.
If you spam-block me (or anyone else) when I’ve never tweeted you, you should be permanently banned from Twitter. The Daily Kos has described one group using this method to silence people. Here is a letter I tweeted to Twitter about the unfair suspension problem. Feel free to tweet it.
11. Please Be Rational
If you believe that me tweeting about politics in states other than one I live in means I must be a paid political operative, you aren’t a rational person.
If you think me tweeting facts about scandals in the Catholic church is a personal attack on you, you’re not being rational.
If you’re going to accuse me of being a racist because I identify as a bully someone who happens to be non-white, please go away. Bullies come in all colors. I have no use for people looking for a fight, who cannot think rationally, or who do not operate with intellectual honesty.
If you are irrational and persistent enough to harass me or others repeatedly, you may be publicly mocked for your actions. This is not me bullying or harassing you; this is me exposing your harassment just as I do with Rush Limbaugh.
12. Sometimes Twitter has glitches and unfollows people even when nobody wants that.
If I’ve unfollowed you, it might be because of a Twitter glitch. Or it might be that I was suspended. Or I may have chosen to unfollow you. If you’ve been unfollowed & think it was a twitter glitch, let me know.
13. TrueTwit Validation Service is a pain in the ass; if you use it, I’m not going to go through their hassles to follow you.
14. If I choose to unfollow or block you, that is my choice.
It doesn’t mean I had a “tantrum”, am “passive-aggressive”, or am being “childish”. It means I’ve chosen to use the Twitter functions of unfollow and/or block, which are there for good reason. It’s not an insult; it’s simply a choice we all have. You also have this choice.
If you think there’s been a misunderstanding, by all means, have a mutual follower ask me about it. Sometimes there are glitches.
15. If you want me to follow you, tell me something about yourself in your twitter bio.
If you’re a progressive, make it known, so I know to follow you. Take the time to upload an image. If you want to know more about me, simply go here.
16. Please Understand what Satire Is:
I tweet using satire a great deal. If you don’t understand what satire is, you probably shouldn’t follow me. My #JesusTweets are satire. My #NextGOPHearings tweets are satire. Do not tweet me and tell me that Jesus didn’t really say that. I know Jesus didn’t say that; that’s the point.
17. If you have questions about how Twitter works or what hashtags mean, please google or ask someone else.
I have very limited energy bc of my health and have to protect my hands from too much typing.
18. If you’re going to naysay my and/or others’ activist efforts, please reconsider and refrain:
Yes, I know that my tweets to (insert RWNJ or any politician) may not be listened to / absorbed / read / acknowledged. It doesn’t matter. It’s called confronting them with the truth. It’s called activism.
When 100 other people RT confrontational tweets, a message is sent. If it were easy, we wouldn’t have to do it.
Do not waste my time and your time tweeting me, “S/He won’t listen to you” or “Don’t waste your time tweeting (Insert RWNJ or any politician)”. Really? Why are you spending your time naysaying the activist efforts of progressives? Stop. Now. If you’ve nay-sayed in the past, please make up for it by sharing this article with every conservative you know.
19. Do Not Expect Perfection From Me In Response To You If You’re Uncivil:
Just because I’m a harassment expert, am certified in Emotional Intelligence assessment, have studied advanced conflict resolution and mediation, and have two graduate degrees in psychology does not mean I’m going to put the energy required into a civil response to you if you come at me in an uncivil manner.
I’m also human. You don’t get to be uncivil or irrational and then get my very best, most professional response. I’m not here for you. You are not my job.
I don’t care if someone has five doctoral degrees in Psychology – if you harass them, they’re going to be angry and not want to waste energy on you.
Being angry and upset at being harassed are actually normal, healthy, emotionally intelligent responses to being harassed. Do not make the mistake of thinking that because I’m an expert I owe you compassion and gentleness. If you’re harassing me & others or if you’re irrational, I owe you nothing.
20. Please do NOT attribute to me tweets that I never tweeted:
For example, someone tweeted “RT
@deniseromano: Don’t be used by Unite Blue folks. We are here to be Progressives – not to make head count $$ for U B leader.” – The problem with this tweet is that I NEVER tweeted this. The person who tweeted this made this tweet up all on his own.
21. Do not be a harasser
If you harass me or others on Twitter, I may write about it someday. Bullies and harassers should not be ignored; they should be called out and exposed.
Calling out bullies and harassers and exposing them is NOT bullying and harassment. It is exposing, discussing & talking about bullying and harassment. Silence empowers bullies.
If you want to tell me to stop writing or tweeting about bullying and harassment and to just let it go, don’t. Contrary to popular opinion, ignoring bullies and harassers does not stop them. They may move onto other targets, but it does not stop them. What stops them is exposing them and identifying what they do that is bullying and harassment.
Telling people not to tweet or write about bullying and harassment they’ve experienced is just another form of bullying and harassment that serves to silence, which is unacceptable.
If you claim to be a progressive but write narcissistic blog posts listing actual progressives as your enemies, you are a bully and a harasser. There is a person on twitter who does this who has more than 15,000 followers. I choose not to follow or engage him.
22. If you have bullied or harassed me or anyone else, apologize for it and don’t do it again.
If you’ve actually spent an hour accusing me of lying about where I live, lying about having disabilities and lying about not being a paid operative, you need to apologize specifically for those things. You don’t get to tweet “I’m sorry I misunderstood your intentions”.
How to Apologize Well: http://excellenceforeveryone.com/how-to-apologize-well/
If you “curate” “chirp-stories” that include gang-ups of you and your friends on someone you all disagree with and target for harassment, you’re a harasser and I want nothing to do with you or your friends.
24. About #UniteBlue:
I’ve been sent info from people I respect on both sides of this debate, and I honestly don’t know what I think of #UniteBlue now. I do know that I respect the people I follow on Twitter, and I respect their decision to join or not join it.
I also appreciate the concerned warnings from people who rightly care about progressives and our community.
I will not harass or block someone just because they choose to join or not join Unite Blue. I will not make a decision whether to join or not join based on who is for or against it. I am still digesting all the info I’ve been sent, and I don’t have a lot of energy each day.
As of now, I’m not joining, but I am also not ready to definitely say it’s a good or a bad thing. I hope it turns out to be a very good thing. I just don’t know what it is at this point, and that needs to be okay.
I would like to see progressives #ConnectTheLeft by respecting each others’ decisions (and each other) on whether to join UB or not.
If someone raises concerns about UB, they should not be harassed or blocked.
As progressives, we are smarter and better than to let a difference of opinion on this divide us. Let’s disagree like rational, healthy, mature adults and give each other the space to think and feel differently about this.
If you see comments about #UB that you disagree with, you have many choices: you can ignore them, reply with civility, ask respectful questions, disagree in a respectful manner or DM someone.
Disagreement among progressives on this or any other topic does not need to get ugly or divide us.
Whatever UB turns out to be, time will tell.
25. If you think my Twitter rules do me a “disservice”, you’re mistaking your needs for my needs.