I recently discovered that MLA (Modern Languages Association) has introduced a “correct” format for citing tweets in literature.
Obviously, these tweets are not likely to carry much weight when compared to journals and, realistically, is as ridiculous as citing Wikipedia. However, what about the person who has tweeted, only to find themselves forever quoted in a report, paper or similar. (This might be doubly worse, since a paper that has allowed the citation of tweets is hardly likely to be of a high scientific research standard!).
So this got me thinking… Obviously, where anyone posts online, as a blog or article, this can be cited. However, the difficulty in maintaining URLs for tweets has meant that this form of writing has largely been ignored by the scientific community other than a form of communication and proliferation of ideas.
I don’t expect anyone to be quoting my opinions any time soon, I don’t think I have posted anything nearing sufficiently controversial. But should I be questioning my use of twitter?
If I am sharing my musings with the world as a means of exchanging ideas with others, gathering feedback or sharing my personal opinions, how can I ensure that I will not be forever held to account for these often random outbursts of text? Or for early opinions which I later change? Will this new phenomenon cause people to think more carefully about their twitter use? Will people censor their uploads? If I change to a closed account, will this change?
So many questions and, for now, so few answers.