The 10 Commandments of Twitter

1. Thou shalt not steal

Do not take another’s Tweet and pass it off as your own.

If ReTweeting be sure to credit the originator of the Tweet, by either prefixing with RT, or Via (Twittername).
It can be irritating as some platform will not allow you to RT the entire Tweet, as the originators Twittername will be inserted at the beginning of the Tweet. In these instances it is usually OK to abbreviate the body of the Tweet, but take care not to lose the original meaning or Rhythm of the Tweet

2. Thou shalt not make wrongful use of the name Twitter.

The only sensible adaptions of the word Twitter to describe the act of using Twitter are –
    i.   Tweeting   - By far the MOST commonly used example, obeying grammatical structure
    ii . Twittering  - Slightly less common not as common, but still acceptable
    iii. Twitting     - Less common again, perhaps signifies the act of being a Twit, whist tweeting
    iv. Twatting    - Vulgar alternative

Descriptions of the users of Twitter can be as follows –
    i.   Tweep(s)       - The most common term for a user, or users of Twitter.
    ii.  Tweeter(s)     - Doesn’t get as much use, generally used to describe another user of Twitter
    iii. Twitterer(s)    - Less popular alternative to “Tweeter”
    iv. Tweeple(s)     - Applicable to a greater number then “Tweeps”, as in the Twitter Public
    v.  Twit(s)           - Perhaps suggesting the original use of the word Twit, whilst Tweeting?
    vi. Twat(s)          - Vulgar alternative

Names for the world according to Twitter
    i.   Twitterverse    - The most popular term, and my personal favourite
    ii.  Tworld             - Alternative that is widely used
    iii. Twittersphere  - Another alternative that is widely used

There are no particular rules, for which of the above examples to use, or where. Indeed I can admit to have using most of them at some point or other. This will generally be influenced by your preference and mood at the time of Tweeting/Twittering/Twitting/Twatting!

There is a definite trend for simply adding a “Tw” at the beginning of any word (or replacing the first letter with) to transfer said word into Twitter speak.
For the most part this should be avoided, but if the new word has some relevance or comedic merit, it may not attract derision.

3. Thou Shalt not commit Advertery.

Twitter is a forum for many different types of users. Most use for social reasons, some for that reason alone. Some also use to extend the footprint of their online profile (Blog, or other website) in the hopes to aid spreading their word.
Many major businesses now have a presence on Twitter. As do smaller businesses and some businesses just starting out.
Regardless of the type of User, many will find occasion to Tweet details, or indeed a link, to something they wish to advertise. Be this a simple blog post, a new website, or any type of product; I see no problem to bringing this to the attention of Twitter users.
It becomes tiresome when the advertising tweets are incessant! Whether the Tweets be automated, or manually it is not good Twitter etiquette to continually Tweet the same information, in some instances simply resending the exact same Tweet! This can be deemed SPAM and will quickly diminish ones Twitter reputation.
Keep advertising Tweets to a minimum and keep Twitter a pleasant place to visit!

4. Thou Shalt not covet thy neighbour’s followers.

It is not becoming for one to beg for followers!

For any users new to Twitter, the follower/followed relationship can seem a little alien. Of course we can all choose who we follow, but not who follows us
Given time other followers WILL find you. At first slowly, but this will increase (somewhat) exponentially, in line with your Twitter footprint.
The best way to increase the number your followers, is to ensure the content of your Tweets is interesting, pleasant and accessible. One should avoid Tweeting “Please follow me”, or “Please help me get more followers”
I have been on Twitter for approaching 2 years and have only around 400 followers. This number fluctuates as some unfollow and new followers join. I have some Twitter friends with less, some with more and some with MANY more! I care not about follower count, either for me, or for any of those I follow. If I choose to follow you, it is because I find you interesting, or you bring a positive influence to my Twitter micro-society. I will be no more inclined to follow you if you have 1 million followers, than if you have 1 follower.

Many (SPAM) Tweets offer links to websites, with the promise of getting you more followers. Most of these offers involve downloading software, or making a payment! Both of which, are at odds with my desired use of Twitter.
Any scheme that artificially inflates your number of Followers is simply a shortcut to followers that neither know, nor appreciate your Twitter style. Sure some of them may turn out to do so later, but I am only interested in Real followers, who choose me of their own volition! If you do not like the things I tweet, I welcome you, without prejudice, to not follow me.

You may notice some users follow you that never seem to Tweet. These are more often, than not automated accounts (Bots), whose sole purpose is to SPAM. In worst case they may harbour a virus!
I make it a point not to exchange Tweets with any new followers, unless they actually Tweet (unique tweets not SPAM) with me, thus avoiding these types of risk.
SPAM accounts are regularly purged as Twitter closes these type of accounts. Do not be disheartened if your number of followers plunges suddenly, this is usually the reason.

5. Thou shalt not falsely proclaim oneself to be an Entrepreneur.

The word Entrepreneur is overused these days and nowhere more than on the Internet. Twitter is no different. There seems to be a glut of Tweet from self proclaimed ‘Entrepreneurs’, usually breaking commandment 3 at the same time.
Simply because one attempts to partake in a `get rich quick’ scheme, or internet marketing routine, one is NOT an Entrepreneur!
The act of aping something that is already successful and merely changing the name, the brand colour, the typeface, or the description, does not make one an Entrepreneur!

Show me a new way of doing something or a new thing to do, with evidence that YOU are pioneering it?... THEN I will concede your Entrepreneurship!

6. Thou shalt not Troll.

Twitter is an enormous environment! I suspect that if we each attempted to follow ALL of the other Twitter users (circa 75 million at time of posting), the Twitter servers would crash.
One should follow only the Twitter users that provide you with information you want/need, entertainment you like, or social interaction you enjoy.
It is NOT compulsory to follow each Twitter user who follows you, though it is an often observed ettiquette.
Regardless of the number you follow, the construction of Twitter allows you to see Tweets from other users, also allowing you to reply (should you wish). This is the basic way that a Twitter user increases their interaction in the world of Twitter.
It would be foolish to expect that every user of Twitter will agree with a point of view one might hold, or might provide a positive response to a chosen topic. Most Twitter users happily remain polite, even though they may disagree with any given topic. On some occasions Tweets can seem offensive. More often, these Tweets may come from an unfamiliar Twitter User, though not always.
In these occurrences it may be prudent to offer a further Tweet to ensure there has been no misunderstanding. Should the offense then not be rationalised and corrected, One would do better than to avoid the situation potential for further offense.
Other types of offensive Tweets are commonly referred to as `Trolling’. The `Troll’ is a Twitter user who continually Tweets offensive content, either to all and sundry, or to another Twitter user in particular! Such behaviour is utterly unacceptable and this can be a warranted use of the `Block’ button.

7. Thou shalt not bear false Twittness.

One should not fabricate ReTweets, in order to promote some kind of service or advertisement. By simply prefixing the Tweet YOU wish to send with RT @[insert random name], does not comply with the ethics of the ReTweet. Twitter allows us to click on that Twittername and see their profile page, showing their Tweeting history (useful for getting to find new interesting people to follow). If you have made up a name that doesn’t exist, there will be no Profile page. If by chance there IS a Twitter user with the Twittername you have used, the profile will show your Tweet to be missing.
This can be considered Twitter arrogance of the highest order. Both that the user thinks ALL other Twitter users are dumb enough to fall for the ruse and demonstrating the arrogant narcissism of the user.

8. Thou Shalt not ReTweet indiscriminately.

It is always nice to receive a Tweet that makes us feel good. It is tempting therefore to ReTweet this so that one’s followers may have opportunity to share in the feeling. Additionally if the message is of significance, one may wish to ReTweet for the benefit of one’s followers.
For the most part this is perfectly acceptable. Though do understand that if the original Tweet is from a popular user, it will already have a wide reach and that many of those who follow you, may also follow the original Tweeter; whereupon you may be just adding to the frequency of said tweet.
This may not be a bad thing, if the information is of significance, but for less significant/interesting Tweets, it may be seen as unnecessary.
Additionally if the original Tweet contains a link, it is prudent to check that the link works successfully prior to ReTweeting it.
When regarding Tweets that congratulate, or praise; or revere something that one has previously Tweeted, or generally represents; again one might feel good, but one should not immediately ReTweet such messages.
Should the Tweet be an uncommon instance, any impact may be lessened; though if one ReTweets every such Tweet it can seem very much that one is revelling in the blowing of smoke up one’s ass.

9. Thou Shalt not abuse the Direct Message (DM).

Direct Message can only been sent to any of one’s followers. One cannot send a Direct Message to any other Twitter user, even if one follows them. Direct Messages should be used to take high frequency Tweet conversations, or delicate Tweets out of the public Twitter timeline.
This is the accepted method for Twitter users familiar with each other. However, one should not bombard a new follower with Direct Messages. This tends to be the modus operandi of the accursed Spammers.
In fact one could go as far as to say that Direct Messages should only be the preserve of Twitter users that know each other well!

10. Thou shalt not BOT.

It seems that there are an abundance of helpful software applications for Twitter. Some ARE useful, but others are quite the nuisance!
Automatic following and automatic Tweeting can be achieved without further input from the user with some softwares. The Twitterverse/Tworld/Twittersphere tends to refer to these types of accounts, whether automated fully, or in part, as `BOTS’!
This commandment is most particularly aimed at the unscrupulous Spammers, who configure their `Bot’ to vomit forth the same advertising Tweet, time after time, at an alarmingly frequent rate. The same `Bot’ will also automatically follow any Twitter user, who happens to Tweet any of the particular `KEY’ words or phrases.
It is normally easy to distinguish these types of accounts, by the high number they follow and the low number of followers they have. If you find them particularly unwelcome, Twitter allows you to report them as SPAM (they will also then be blocked from your timeline)
If you have been on Twitter for anything longer than a few days, you have likely experienced this type of user. More often the `apparent’ user will be a young `Lady’ who would like you to look at her `pictures’! Other examples can be lottery schemes, `get rich quick’ schemes, or other miscellaneous commercial marketing, to name but a few.

Twitter can delete these accounts when they become aware of any of this kind of activity, but the quantity of users willing to generate these types of account far exceeds Twitter’s capacity to delete them.


Well this is my interpretation of 10 important factors to bear in mind if you wish to enter the realm of Twitter.It is by no means an exhaustive list!I am not a professional user of either twitter or the internet. These 10 commandments are my opinion alone and include their fair share of whimsy, but are constructed to highlight frustrations that I have developed; in the year and a half that I have been using Twitter.This post is not intended to make fun of, or make light of ANY religion or faith.Given that Twitter is extremely popular, this may not be an original idea. However, I have created this list with my own original ideas. Should it bear any similarity to any other work, it is purely coincidental.I hope you enjoyed reading

  • Thank you for the information. Being new to Twitter has left me a bit confused but this is very interesting and informative,

  • After discussing the state of the world with my mate, mostly pertaining to new people who might come to your country (We in Canada)I came up with this comment. Feel free to spread it around.
    Some people in every country seem to have a problem with others ways of being or living. Germans work too hard and can not mind their own business and Greeks want to party and not pay their share. Nobody minds that the USA spends all the money and lies and cheats in the name of their Gods and laws. Nobody seems to care that countries like Canada sit on their wealth, not caring about anyone except themselves and at the same time too stupid to keep a better eye on their government.
    The people, no matter which language they speak, are responsible for their governments. Every individual on the planet has to sit down and write, tweet, email or otherwise get together and confront THEIR government no matter how much you dislike your fellow or new fellow man. Or separate the people who want to live hard and fast and die young – my place to live – from the people who want to work eat and sleep. When the children do not get along, you send them to different rooms to THINK about their ways.
    Brian Elwin Pomeroy

  • May I add one more line to #8? Always check to see that the link you are posting is really relevant to your followers. Don't assume that because the link mentions one of your keywords that the keyword is used in the context that your followers want to read.

  • This is a really great post, Russ. Had I had this at my fingertips when I first joined Twitter, I would have been a very happy camper. Now it is a great reminder of Twitter manners and what Twitter is actually all about! Thanks for the post! Loved it!

  • An excellent list that has a lot in common with my own list of twitter rules. You are not alone in your frustrations.

  • Many thanks to everyone for your comments. I appreciate all of the feedback.
    It's great to see this post generating interest and discussion.
    Feel free to come back again; just in case I manage write something else, less than useless. ;P

  • I covet this post, Russell. So much so, that I've added a link to it on my latest blog:
    Best wishes, @DaisyTongy

  • Thank you so much, I tweet your post to my French followers.