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Jun 28 / King Kaufman

Twitter civility: Remember who and what you represent in social media

Twitter can be a great digital barstool, especially when there’s a game on. It’s a lot of fun to banter back and forth with your pals and the odd stranger a few stools over.

But even while serving as a virtual neighborhood tavern, Twitter, like other social media platforms, especially those that default to full public access to your feed, is also a way for you to represent yourself as a writer. And if you write for Bleacher Report, you’re representing Bleacher Report, even when you’re just being your personal old self, tweeting or posting about whatever.

Our networked, connected, always-on media world means there isn’t any such thing anymore as a “personal” digital presence if you’ve got a professional presence using the same name.

That’s why it’s best to think twice before tweeting that offensive profanity, salacious joke or nasty insult. Then think again. Then don’t do it. If you’re trying to build a reputation as a sportswriter, those things are likely to hurt you.

We talk a lot around here about building your brand as a writer, and that process doesn’t shut off when you’re not writing.

And even if you’re just writing for fun and don’t care about your reputation as a writer, keep in mind that if you write for Bleacher Report, you represent B/R when you tweet.

A little light profanity here and there, well hell, who gives a damn. But we’d like all B/R writers to avoid language that reflects poorly on the Bleacher Report brand. If you’re on the Bleacher Report Twitter List, offensive or aggressively insulting language will get you kicked off of it. And if that language persists, B/R writing privileges may be revoked.

Here’s a standard to work with: Imagine Twitter is a conference at which you’re representing Bleacher Report on a panel. You can be yourself. You might drop in a political opinion, but you wouldn’t say something incendiary. You might swear a little or get into a debate, but you wouldn’t use the C-word or attack someone with language that would get you disinvited to future events—or punched in the nose.

Related reading: Twitter guide for writers.