Thoughts on a Twitter exchange

On Oct. 12, I tweeted a link to this story by Aaron James at Salon.com:

The article is an excerpt from James’ book, “Assholes: A Theory.” The Salon.com piece profiles the modern varieties of “assholes” in society. The headline of the excerpt is sensationalized to an extent, of course, in that it deals with only a short section from the piece dealing with cable news “assholes.” It was an entertaining read that I came across in one of my article recommendation apps.

After my tweet, this reply came through from user [@foulmouthedfag](https://twitter.com/FoulMouthedFag):

>@superjaberwocky Do you think articles like this showcase your “non-partisan”ness? Way to throw everyone calling the Comical biased a bone!

I couldn’t embed it for a reason that will become clear below.

I wanted to scream a response saying that my opinions are my own, yadda yadda. However, I realized that [my Twitter profile](https://twitter.com/superjaberwocky/) simply identifies me as the City Editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Despite my non-standard online handle, I can see where someone would assume I’m speaking in an official capacity on Twitter.

So I tempered my response.

Shortly thereafter, @foulmouthedfag deleted his/her original response to me — hence the lack of a Twitter embed. Fortunately, my Twitter client at home has a longer cache and I was able to copy the message and write about it.

There’s something to be learned here, a “pro-tip” for the Internet. Your first, emotional reaction will probably cause more trouble than it’s worth. Sit back, reconsider things and remember to be polite. Represent yourself positively.

It sounds like old-fashioned advice because it is. Still valid, though.

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Categorized as Web Stuff

By Michael Becker

Michael Becker is the Web Editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He has been a blogger and professional journalist since 2005, covering subjects ranging from nonprofits and crime to engineering and technology.