In recent months, I’ve learned that if you don’t provide people with information, they’ll try to guess the answers on their own. They won’t contact you and ask for you to fill the blanks in; they’ll just make assumptions and then act on them. In light of that, I’ve decided to go ahead and post my “official Twitter follow policy” here and then link to it in my Twitter Bio. Maybe this will help clear up some misunderstandings.
WILL YOU (@AiPolitics) FOLLOW ME?
The short answer to this question is “yes”.
As long as you interact with me and you aren’t flat out disrespectful, I will follow you. We don’t even have to agree with each other. We can have polar opposite opinions (and share them), and I will still follow you. All that I ask is that you interact (bc why would I follow someone with whom I have no dialogue?) and that you are not flagrantly disrespectful toward me. The occasional kerfuffle is fine. Name calling, generally, is not.
I’VE BEEN FOLLOWING YOU FOR A LONG TIME,
AND YOU DON’T FOLLOW ME BACK. WHAT GIVES?
While I do follow almost anyone who’d like to conduct dialogue, I do not automatically follow people back just because they follow me. I used to do that, and I ended up with a cluttered Twitter stream of people I couldn’t even recognize, and even worse, spam bots. Try introducing yourself or inserting yourself into my conversations. Once I realize you’re here for dialogue, I’ll generally follow you back.
DO YOU TRY TO PAD YOUR FOLLOWER-TO-FOLLOWING RATIO?
No. I honestly don’t pay attention to it anymore. If six million people wanted to discuss topics that interest me, I would follow six million people. Interaction is almost always the deciding factor in whether or not I follow you.
YOU SAID TO INTERACT WITH YOU. I TRIED, BUT YOU DIDN’T RESPOND.
Sometimes I simply do not have a “good” response, so I say nothing. Sometimes your tweet did not appear in my “mentions” column, and I did not even know you had spoken to me. And sometimes I think you’re “trolling” me or using a straw man argument. I don’t mind disagreeing, but if I think you’re picking a fight just to see if you can “get my goat”, I’ll choose not to respond. If you’re genuinely here for dialogue (and not just arguing), I will pick that up after you make a few attempts at talking with me. Be persistent. And if I don’t “ever” respond and you feel slighted, then let me know. It may or may not be intentional, but I’ll usually talk it out with you.
WHY DID YOU MAKE THIS POST?
As I said before, when you don’t provide people with information, they often decide to just make assumptions and run with them. Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more people broadcast their assumptions as if they were fact. ie…
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me back, because I didn’t agree with him.”
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me back, because he’s trying to pad his follower-to-following ratio.”
“@AiPolitics didn’t follow me, because he’s jealous that I have more followers than he does.”
The last one is one of my favorites…. The new assumption on Twitter is that if you disagree with someone who has more followers, then you must “obviously” be envious. This makes about as much sense as when Democrats say that if you disagree with President Obama, you must “obviously” be a racist, but otherwise intelligent people on Twitter still make this assertion.
Hopefully this post clears up a lot of misconceptions I’ve been running into lately. If it doesn’t, feel free to tweet me with questions you may have. Also, feel free to add some of your own Twitter follow policies in the comments below. Maybe we can all clear up the misunderstandings that have been seen on Twitter lately. (many of them can be avoided if people will simply ASK instead of ASSUMING)
The author of this post, Ai Politics, can be tweeted under the handle @AiPolitics at Twitter.com.