In other words, on Twitter, people say things that they think of as ephemeral and chatty. Their utterances are then treated as unequivocal political statements by people outside the conversation. Because there’s a kind of sensationalistic value in interpreting someone’s chattiness in partisan terms, tweets “are taken up as magnum opi to be leapt upon and eviscerated, not only by ideological opponents or threatened employers but by in-network peers.”
Social Media is both conversational, and “publication”, in that it’s on the record, for the long-term. And, as society, we’re struggling to reconcile the co-existence of these two ideas in a new form.
This is the fulcrum of a fascinating and well-researched article that places Twitter in an historical context that makes the current – and mainly cultural – problems it’s encountering much more understandable. Bookmark it, and read it at your leisure.