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Why Retweeting May Necessitate a Retwaction

Published: August 20, 2013

They say "Googling before you type is the new think before you speak" - a relevant reminder in a social climate where we quickly like or share Web material.

Arguably, the rule to think before you speak is most pertinent when it comes to Twitter. In the entire sea of social media, Twitter represents the most challenging can of worms. Whereas other social networks offer a private network of contacts and limit what can be shared outside that network, Twitter offers no such parameters. With Twitter, once you say something, it's out there for the world to see and share. It's the proverbial game of telephone for the digital generation.

Just as in the game of telephone, Twitter users can modify a tweet before retweeting it. Though this is premised with "MT" (meaning "modified tweet"), the entire meaning of a message can change with only a few minor modifications. What you initially said might not be what someone five times removed is retweeting, and you are credited as the source - even be it with an "MT" stamp.

Enter Retwact. This Web-based service helps people write and share corrections on Twitter. The platform lets users view reshared tweets and offers a series of recourse options for retractions. Users can either (1) write a retraction tweet, or (2) send an #RTRetract hashtag via the Retwact Twitter account to all original retweeters. Retractions are easily made and clarification is simplified in unison with a side-by-side tweet of the original and corrected tweet.

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