Marking links to tweets February 2, 2017 12:01 PM   Subscribe

There are a lot of links to tweets where the link text is the text of the tweet. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate not having to click a mystery link to find out what it says, and I understand that we want to cite our sources, but it's annoying to click something expecting to read about some topic and find that I've already read everything there is to read. Could we have some sort of post-link marker to indicate that clicking the link will take you to a tweet that says exactly what the link says? Maybe [tw] or [twpic] or something if the tweet has no other text but some multimedia content?

What I'm picturing is something like this

"Just so you know...when I die, I will have pre-selected one of you to read my top tweets at my funeral." [tw]

or

"Wishing a #HappyBirthday to the man who did this... Happy 24thh @morrisonravel! 🎂 #COYI" [twpic]

Sample tweets selected by searching for the word "the" and grabbing something inoffensive and innocuous.

It's just an idea. Please don't scream at me.
posted by If only I had a penguin... to Etiquette/Policy at 12:01 PM (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

(and yes, I realize the first tweet doesn't even have the word 'the" in it. I am perplexed, too.)
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'm inclined to say no for practical reasons, any question of the merit of the idea in principle aside: the added load for processing comments in a thread for this would likely scale pretty badly for any threads that grow past moderate comment count. And longer threads about news or breaking events or so on are where I think we tend to see the greatest concentration of tweet-linking activity. Exacerbating load issues there wouldn't be good.

Etiquette on tweet linking/formatting in general may just continue to be a social problem for folks to argue best practices on; quoting the tweet in the text of the link is better in some ways than linking without quotation when all that's on the other end of the link is the brief text of the tweet, for example. But I feel you on the idea that clicking through just to duplicate the effort also feels like a waste. I think part of the tricky bit here is that folks are going to analogize to their tweet linking/quoting the habits they have around linking/quoting other larger sorts of writing where some selective quotation or summary is more explicitly necessary.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:08 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


In every other social media space I'm in, [tw] in brackets like that is shorthand for trigger warning. Maybe write it out to be like [tweet]?
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:09 PM on February 2, 2017 [4 favorites]


And yes, "tw" would be sort of a namespace collision, if that were at thing. My imaginary version of this thing we're not likely to implement would use a little SVG graphic of a twitter logo, maybe, analogous to the little play-button-on-a-tv-screen icon that the option youtube-links-in-posts method uses.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:11 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


use a little SVG graphic of a twitter logo, maybe, analogous to the little play-button-on-a-tv-screen icon that the option youtube-links-in-posts method uses.

I am in agreement. I like this.

I don't think we actually need it though. Links already open in another window/tab. I treat something I don't want to read/realize there's nothing more to read with the same sort of "flag it and forget it" mentality we have here for problematic posts/comments.
posted by INFJ at 12:18 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


How about [twt] ?
Put me in the column of people who find the quoted tweet link that links to the same words, but on twitter wildly annoying. Also frustrating is thinking that the linked/quoted tweet is lead up or lead in to some longer piece only to find out that, no, that's it.
so I would love it if tweets were designated as such and quoted in their entirety -
Also also because sometimes in the mega threads especially, switching between twitter and then back to the thread, well my phone starts panting...
posted by From Bklyn at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2017 [3 favorites]


Sorry if I was unclear. I meant could people do that when they post, please, maybe. Not can we set up an automated system (like with youtube links). But yeah, tw might be twigger warning. So not a good choice of letters for the tag. Didn't think of that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


WELL I STILL REFUSE TO DO THE THING YOU DIDN'T ASK ME TO DO

*spins in chair, frowning vacantly at nothing and everything*
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:31 PM on February 2, 2017 [28 favorites]


Couldn't you just hover (or tap and hold) over the link and look at the URL before you click (or tap) it?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2017


What about doing it through the stylesheets? I just tried adding this rule through Chrome developer tools, and it worked nicely.

a[href*="twitter.com"]::after {
  content: " [twitter]"
}

This shouldn't increase server load at all, though I suppose it would have the downside of false positives for any URL containing the text "twitter.com". But I don't know enough to know what kind of effect this would have client-side on processing for megathreads.
posted by biogeo at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


Couldn't you just hover (or tap and hold) over the link and look at the URL before you click (or tap) it?

Fine on desktop, but in the megathreads this makes my poor phone die.
posted by biogeo at 1:00 PM on February 2, 2017


Hovering over the link just tells you it's a link to twitter. It doesn't tell you if the text in the link is a comment on whatever the tweet is or the tweet itself. It also doesn't tell you if there's any other significant content (e.g. a video) or a link to an actual article. That's why I wouldn't think it could be automated.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

My imaginary version of this thing we're not likely to implement would use a little SVG graphic of a twitter logo, maybe, analogous to the little play-button-on-a-tv-screen icon that the option youtube-links-in-posts method uses.
Ooo. Could it render the tweet inline inline in a popover, the same way the YouTube/Vimeo inlining does?

I would use this. It feels to me like links to Twitter are now at least as common as links to YouTube -- much more so, in political threads -- and it's a minor annoyance to have to spin up a whole new tab and load all of Twitter's background cruft simply to read one linked Tweet.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, I, for one, consider every link to Twitter as requiting a Trigger Warning. I quit Twit five years ago and considered it having more negative than positive influence to society long before it became a prime campaign medium for Future President Dumpster. Thinking about it, I oppose linking to Twitter PERIOD and would prefer substituting any link to a 140-or-less-character message with a cut-and-paste of the content. Now there's My Little Pony.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2017


TWITTER IS BETTER THAN TELEGRAMS -(STOP)-
posted by Kabanos at 3:19 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


I like [twt]
posted by Sebmojo at 3:59 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


"TWITTER IS BETTER THAN TELEGRAMS -(STOP)-"

I sent my BFF a telegram on her 21st birthday and I wanted it to say "DEAR FRIEND HAPPY BIRTHDAY STOP LOVE FROM EYEBROWS STOP" etc and they were like "You know we can do punctuation now, right? It can just say "Happy birthday."?" And I was like THEN WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT OF A TELEGRAM QUERY
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:52 PM on February 2, 2017 [31 favorites]


I read that quickly as "...stop love..." as if you were both wishing friend happy birthday and imploring friend to to stop love in its tracks.
posted by AugustWest at 7:17 PM on February 2, 2017


I was thinking about this during the election run-up threads. I came up with [tqie] which stands for "Tweet quoted in entirety", pronounced "teequee".

That's probably why I never proposed it.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:21 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]


I've always been bugged by this, and now I've done it myself since not quoting the text is way more annoying.

Twitter messages are very short. Couldn't we just make it convention to always quote the entire thing? Then if someone wants to click through they can, but know they've read the entire original message.

But a little indicator that it's Twitter would be nice.
posted by bongo_x at 11:39 PM on February 2, 2017 [1 favorite]


Wasn't there recently a MeTa (or at least a MeTa comment) asking people to quote Tweets in their entirity on MeFi rather than just link, so that they didn't have to click through on the mobile and deal with the browser reloading or the Twitter app opening? So I guess people are doing that now, and annoying others in a different way. Anyway, if I'm quoting a tweet I usually tag it with the Twitter username, like:
"lol Twitter, am I right?" - @notinventedhere
to make it obvious I'm quoting an actual (entire) Tweet.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:02 AM on February 3, 2017


I was hoping you had tweeted "lol Twitter, am I right?" just so that you could link to it here. Make some effort next time, EndsOfInvention.

I occasionally still see an email where the person puts the whole message in the Subject line and appends it with [EOM] for End Of Message, meaning you don't have to open the email (though I do, because I am werid and my brain won't let me have unread emails). So maybe [EOT] for End Of Tweet or [LTT] for Link To Tweet or [JTT] for Just The Tweet?

[EOM]
posted by Rock Steady at 5:18 AM on February 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


When I'm quoting a tweet in its entirety I've usually identified the tweeter first and made that a link to the tweet, e.g.:

@AltStateDpt Fox News wrongly reports Iran sank US Navy ship.
WH repeats claim.
Swap Iran w/ Spain. This is literally how Spanish-American war began.

Which seems reasonable to me, but is this clear? Do people understand that that's a link to the tweet itself, or do they expect it to link to the main page for the @AltStateDpt account?

Also, I hadn't previously considered how to differentiate a tweet that is text alone, vs. those that have additional content. Maybe some indication along these lines:

@JamesMartinSJ [pic] Gospel: Herod "liked to listen" to John the Baptist. Yet his desire to impress others led him to execute John. Pride crowds out God's voice.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:24 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


Do people understand that that's a link to the tweet itself, or do they expect it to link to the main page for the @AltStateDpt account?

Seeing you say that, I've now wised up to hover when I see an @, if I'm on a computer. Before now, I would have assumed you were doing that annoying thing where people respond to someone else by talking @ them and expected the @username link to lead to another comment in the thread. I thought some people had a greasemonkey script that facilitated posting comments that way. Maybe I am misremembering something.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:18 AM on February 3, 2017


Yeah, if you start with the @username I might think you were one of the Mefites who uses that format to address other users. That's why I tag the @username on the end of the quote rather than the start (even though that more accurately recreates the Tweet format).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:08 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


That's why I tag the @username on the end of the quote rather than the start

Oh, that's a good idea - I think I'll start doing it that way. Hadn't considered that it might look like I was responding to another MeFite the way I was doing it.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:22 AM on February 3, 2017


> Sample tweets selected by searching for the word "the" and grabbing something inoffensive and innocuous.

Link goes to a tweet by user: @ThRealBallsDeep
posted by cjorgensen at 10:37 AM on February 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wish this approach were taken by commenters with all links in these long threads. [nyt], [twt], [senate.gov] etc. I have vastly different interest in "Trump proven to be Russian agent [nyt]" than I do in "Trump proven to be Russian agent [twt]".

The other day I followed a twitter link that I hoped, given the quote, would provide more context/sourcing. So it was a retweet or whatever you call those tweets that show other tweets in special boxes of their own; I clicked on the special box, got a twitter overlay of the original tweet, which had an image containing text that, finally, was of interest; I clicked on the image, got another overlay of the image at a uselessly small size, and found that twitter's UI literally won't even show me the original resolution, so I right clicked view-image in Firefox and finally got something worthwhile. If this is how we spread information now we's fucked.
posted by sylvanshine at 7:49 PM on February 5, 2017


I came up with [tqie] which stands for "Tweet quoted in entirety", pronounced "teequee".

I think we have a winner, folks. It's as annoyingly abstruse as SLYT and as easy to argue the pronunciation of as MeFi.

(It's pronounced talkie. Obviously.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:05 PM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]


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