I love Twitter, but there is one thing that gets on my wick about it. Two little letters …… R and T, and more, the abuse of this function.
What is an RT? It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t on Twitter, as it is pure Twitter jargon.
It stands for Retweet, basically, it’s like forwarding on an e-mail or passing on information. If something is informative or funny, people can RT it, basically to say “This is something i’ll share with you, but I didn’t say it. It was said by ……”
It’s worth pointing out that people may RT something to highlight it, rather than endorsing it.
Don’t get me wrong, the RT function when used rightly, can be such a good thing, as recently seen during the recent Belfast Floods, where MLAs and Councillors posted advice on how to claim assistance and who to contact, and people forwarded it on.
Politicians and members of the public were regularly posting bulletins on where to avoid. This was Twitter at it’s best. I have benefitted from RTs and forwarding of information, as I have found out about events happening in Belfast from people I don’t follow, and even discovered accounts worth following via this way.
Over the past 18 months, a new trend has emerged where people ask celebs/journalists/organisations for RTs, often spamming peoples timelines with drivel.
So here, are the 15 types of offender. I’m not wanting to come across as the Twitter Police, but it would be bloody great if we could deport these people to Menschn.
1. GRIEF TWEETS
The biggest offenders on Twitter. The term is Dianafication, though it must be stated, somebody can be Dianafied if they’re still alive.
2012 has given Grief Junkies many opportunities to infest Twitter, such as the on pitch heart attack of Fabrice Muamba, Tweeters flocked to their computers to ask celebs for RTs.
Pls RT so that #prayformuamba can trend
Please explain to me how a hashtag is going to make someone better?
Or am I a Luddite living in the best for believing in stuff such as Doctors, Medicine and the NHS?
People tried to outdo each other in a rather grotesque manner to ask celebs to endorse their grief.
Seemingly, posting that they wish for him to make a recovery isn’t enough.
When Stilyan Petrov was diagnosed with Lukemia, the Grief Junkies were out in force to ask for RTs to get #prayforpetrov trending.
The captain of a Premier League club from a major city being seriously ill is hardly going to struggle to trend. But again, how is a trending topic going to make someone better?
There was even a Twitter account set up in his name, it’s only posts being RT requests to Aston Villa players, and hasn’t been updated for three months. Whoever set it up obviously found a new bandwagon to jump on.
Claire Squires tragic death during the London Marathon is one other such example, as Twitter was full of people asking for RTs to link her JustGiving page.
That wasn’t in any way morbid.
2. I HAVE A BLOG
A scourge amongst football journalists, who seem to believe in some unwritten rule about helping others on the way up.
It seems that every 17 year old boy in Britain is busy asking football journalists for RTs for their blog about wether ABC or RPM is the better manager? Should England adopt Spains Tricky Tapas style of play? Is Spain’s False Eyeliner formation the future of football?
I really couldn’t care. If I did, I would be following you. Go out and discover girls and Blue WKd. It’s a lot more fun than asking football journalists for RTs.
3. CHARITY REQUESTS
I’M DOING A CHARITY FUNRUN OR SOMETHING, PLEASE RT!!!!!!!!
Worst thing is, celebs RT this sort of thing because some PR advisor is telling them to do so.
Sob stories are optional.
4. MY MATE’S SHOP
A spin-off of Point 3, as people ask celebs for RTs to give publicity for some new business venture.
The hilarious thing is, celebs advertise crap for free on Twitter they wouldn’t do in person if they were paid.
5. EVERYONE’S A POIROT
A spin-off of Point 1, Missing Person stories seem to bring out the worst in Twitter Grief Junkies.
Despite being highlighted in the media and being handled by trained professionals, people on Twitter feel as if it is their duty to find them.
Do they go out and help with the search? Erm, no, they fire off RT requests to celebs. And this helps how?
6. GOOD LUCK TWEETS
Got an exam coming up? Don’t bother revising, just ask a celeb for a Good Luck RT and you’ll definately pass.
If Point 1 s the Dianafication of Twitter, then this is the HugoDuncanification of Twitter.
7. SATURDAY MORNING FOOTBALL TWEETS
Quiet at the moment, but just wait until August, as every Saturday morning, footballers will be RTing RT requests from people who are on a bus en route to a football match.
I’m going to the game today, pls RT
Now, I go and watch Linfield most weeks, but do I need to get Michael Gault to share this with Twitter? Erm, no.
So footballers, please stop RTing this drivel and just concentrate on the game.
8. COMIC RELIEF
A seasonal one this, only arising when one of the BBC’s charity galas are on TV.
Instead of lying in a bath of baked beans, people now ask celebs for RTs, using Comic Relief as a front.
For every RT I get, i’ll give £1 to charity. Pls RT.
Just give £20 to charity and get the fuck off my timeline.
Please RT to raise awareness of something.
Yeah, cheers for that, what am I supposed to do with this new found awareness?
10. SICK KIDS
Another spin-off of Point 1, where people adopt sick kids as a cause celebre, come up with a catchy hashtag and ask celebs for RTs.
Worst ones are the “Bucket list” ones, where seemingly every sick kid dreams of trending on Twitter before they die. I trended on Twitter once (In London, after doing a joke about Delia Smith which got RTed so many times) and it was OK, nothing special.
11. BIRTHDAY RTs
Please RT it’s my birthday.
Congratulations, you’ve managed to wake up and not die on 365 successive occasions. Well done, you truly are a giant amongst humanity.
Worst ones are “An RT would make my day”
If getting an RT off a celeb is “The highlight of my day” I think you need a pretty serious life re-evaluation.
12. BIG FAN
I’m a big fan, please RT.
Erm, yeah. Thanks for sharing that with us.
Pls RT to get signatures for this petition, or some hashtag urging us to boycott products, brands or countries, or even Alan Davies (Especially stuff I don’t buy or countries I don’t visit)
Now, I follow politicians on Twitter, and if people want to tweet about politics, that’s no problem, but I don’t want people ramming their political ideas down my throat if I don’t follow them.
If a message needs an RT from a celeb, it’s clearly not a strong message.
14. STAN TWEETS
You know the song ‘Stan‘ by Eminem, about an obsessed fan wanting to be friends with a celebrity? Yeah, that.
People who begin RT requests with “How come you never RT me?”
That is in no way sinister or threatening.
15. MORE FOLLOWERS
Pls RT so I can get more followers.
You know, you would probably get more followers if you didn’t spam Twitter with RT requests to get more followers. Just saying.
On the other side of the fence, celebs who do “I’ll follow someone at random of everyone who RTs this” tweets.
If Gary Barlow wants to follow me on Twitter, he’s more than welcome. I sure ain’t going to beg for it Gary.