It is now a common practice for some Twitter users to include on their bio, profile or account the disclaimer-retweets do not imply endorsements. This disclaimer is usually featured to give the account owner the free will to post or retweet whatever they like on the microblogging site. It was easy to refer to it whenever there is a controversy.
Regardless, since Twitter has become a major interactive and engagement platform, the validity of this world-famous internet phrase has been called into question.
It may be justifiable and plausible if the account owner is not a public figure or celebrity. But if you are anyone of the later, Retweets do imply endorsements. It simply depends on which divide you belong.
There are endless examples of how retweets by public figures have caused quite an uproar or outcry. The best examples you will get is from Donald Trump, the President of the United States of America.
The first tweet from Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, claims to show a Muslim migrant attacking a man on crutches. This was followed by two more videos of people Fransen claims to be Muslim according to the BBC.
These retweets led to a brickbat between Theresa May, the British PM and Trump. She said Trump was ‘wrong’ to retweet the video.
Even if you are not a celebrity, there are certain Social Media contents you can retweet that could actually get you into trouble.
For example, Ali Saleh, a 22-year-old US Queens resident was arrested following an FBI investigation into his attempts to join ISIS.
According to the complaint against him, Saleh began tweeting his plans in 2013. Saleh’s retweets came up repeatedly in the complaint as a cause for arrest. Many of the specific examples given are time Saleh retweeted others from his various. Saleh is neither a social media influencer nor a public figure but what he tweeted or retweeted was a major cause for concern.
So, the rule of thumb is for Twitter and social media users is to be careful with what they tweet and retweet because it is not in all cases that retweets are not endorsements. In fact these days, retweets are now seen and perceived as an endorsement.
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