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“Can You Retweet This For Me?”

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It’s a fairly common (if not entirely desirable) practice on Twitter for many to ask others to retweet their messages. Usually this comes via the use of something as simple as ‘please retweet’ or ‘please RT’ somewhere within the post.

A quick look at Twitter search shows just how often this happens – hundreds and thousands of times each and every hour.


While many consider this bad form, it’s relatively easy to ignore. Moreover, there’s no pressure on you directly to actually do what is being asked.

It’s very different when somebody approaches you personally – and only you – and asks you to retweet something as a favour. If you do not know the person, once again you can safely ignore the message with little or no consequence.

However, it gets very complicated if the approach has been made by somebody you know well, particularly if that person has regularly retweeted the things you have posted to Twitter in the past.

At all times, it is imperative to balance any obligations you may feel towards this individual against how comfortable you feel passing on their message to your Twitter network. It is important to remember that when you retweet a message, it essentially becomes your message. It is something to which you have given your support.

If your contact has asked you to retweet their latest blog post or an exciting piece of technology news, then your decision process is quite straightforward.

But what if their message is a little more complex? Perhaps it might concern a political opinion that you do not share. It might be a religious or philosophical attitude that you do not subscribe to, or present a viewpoint that you feel uncomfortable passing on to other people.

In these cases, simply ignoring the request is unwise. Instead, find a way to politely decline. Being able to say ‘no’ is an important life-skill (particularly so in social media). How you approach and verbalise this, and whether you feel the need to go into detail about your reasons, depends greatly on how strong your relationship is with this individual. Offering some explanation is better than none, but be mindful not to cause offense.

Be polite, but be firm, and your friend will hopefully accept your decision. If they protest or respond negatively, remember that just because you have been asked to do something does not mean you are in any way obligated.

Your Twitter status updates inform others about who you are. They tell us about your likes and ideals, beliefs and tastes. A casual or careless approach to the messages you retweet and pass on – particularly if they are in direct opposition to the way that you actually feel – does not benefit anybody. Particularly you.

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  1. How Should You Respond When Somebody Asks You, “Can You Retweet This For Me?” | Twittercism

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