Thursday, January 31, 2013

CM's New Twitter Policy.

Oh, it's not a policy. That's stupid.

I'm going to keep the account open, and occasionally tweet links to posts on our site. We may also, when the subject matter seems germane, retweet links that come to our feed from other higher education sources.

If this is a problem for you, please let me know - like I could stop you.

I am comfortable with this step, and although I'm very disappointed in how the past couple of days have gone, I don't want this to drag on any longer.

As requested, we are not "following" any college profs who are on Twitter. Some community members feared this would out them. We are only following some national news organizations involved in higher education, and, of course, for Cal, Darla, and some others, Yvonne Strahovski.


  1. I deleted my twitter account when College Misery started following it; I didn't realise I could just ask someone not to. However, I don't miss it. Like I needed another way to procrastinate, er, engage. with my students. of course. In a healthful and knowledge-mobilizing sort of way...

    1. This makes me very unhappy. I wish you'd just said something or tweeted or emailed. Anything. It was never an attempt to cause a problem. I actually did that, not Terry. I believe I followed some people who followed us, but I chose people with pseudonyms.

      I apologize sincerely.

  2. I think a lot of the "opposition" to what transpired with the CM twitter feed reflects a profound misunderstanding of what Twitter is, and how it works. In a nutshell: it is the Hyde-Park-Corner-Soapbox for the masses. And most of the masses take their opportunity to tweet mostly dumbass shit.

    Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers etc RT (that's "re-tweet" for you non-, uh, -twitterers(?) ) what they think is stupidity, which clearly identifies the source of the stupidity, and they're RT'ing to their 100,000-600,000 subscribers. Why the angst here amongst CMers? I think some people here at CM seriously don't understand exactly how Twitter works and tends to play out (and I didn't, until I opened an account about 3 weeks ago. And the vast majority of it is stupid. What a waste of fucking garbage cluttering up my Twitter feed, and I only subscribe to 7 people so far. But that's besides the point here.).

    You're making public to the entirety of Twitter-dom what you decided to write onto your smartphone etc in 140 characters or less. The very first item of Twitter's terms of service emphasizes highly prominently:
    "What you say on Twitter may be viewed all around the world instantly. You are what you Tweet!"

    Other Twits are free to RT or reply to your tweet. This is how it works. We're constructing a set of "rules" and "behaviour" that does not reflect what Twitter is about. Having quickly gone through Twitter's rules, so long as you don't make specific threats of violence against others, you're good to go. (Donald Trump wasn't barred or suspended from Twitter, let alone charged with treason, after tweeting support for a violent coup d'etat after the last US presidential election, right?) If you don't like what someone tweeted to you, with one simple click you can bar them from your feed - but you can't report them or get their tweet deleted, unless you violate the one rule above. You can also report someone to Twitter for tweeting spam to you. And that's it. Twitter is like the Old West Frontier of social media interaction. It's a libertarian's wet dream.

    What a total distraction this whole thing has been.

    1. So much agreed, but you know, "THINK OF THE IDIOTS" seems to be the new catchphrase around here. I thought we were about skewering the idiots.

  3. I think you've hit on the perfect formula for mass paranoia: create a Twitter account called @college_misery and randomly follow every professor you can find. PANDEMONIUM!!!

    Also, I agree with Poopiehead's sentiment above. Twitter is as public as public can possible be. Follow students, follow profs... who cares? This kind of fear only limits the force for good that @collegemisery could be. Call out students and profs alike on their drivel. If not you, who will?

  4. Les, you sweetie. Yvonne and I thank you.

  5. Forget CM's Twitter account, I want CrunkBear to follow me!

  6. I hope it goes well, Leslie. I support whatever you do with the feed.

  7. Whaddayaknow. I get slammed with end-of-add-drop chaos, look away for a few days, and all hell breaks loose in the meantime.

    Overall, I'm with Darla. Whatever you decide is best for the blog, Leslie, I'm happy to agree to. Any of us is free to create a twitter account using hir own pseudonym, and call out the snowflakes (which strikes me as something of a public service, to the snowflakes as much as well as everyone else, as well as pretty funny). Of course, if that particular pseudonym is also following, and regularly commenting/posting on, CM, such activities might well lead people back here (in fact, they could easily find their way here via google, even if the pseudonym isn't following CM and/or doesn't mention it in a twitter profile). I share some of Stella's concerns on that score, but somebody's confidence, expressed somewhere in the last few days of posts (nope, I'm not going to exercise my scholarly muscles mastering that corpus so I can cite it precisely), that CM as a body is pretty good at dealing with snowflakes who wander in and act like snowflakes (since here, unlike in the classroom, we can, even if we start by being kind, eventually become as blunt as we need to be, without fear of repercussions).

    So, if any of us want to pseudonymously harass, chastise, and/or advise the snowflakes on twitter (and have the time for it), I say we go for it. As far as the official CM feed goes, Leslie's policy sounds fine with me (but I'll probably be equally happy if she revises or reverses or whatever; while I recognize the significance of the twitterverse, and dip my toe into the edge very occasionally, mostly as a lurker, I just don't have time to deal with learning the full ins and outs of one more online subculture).


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