Medicopolitical

Please don’t tweet during my talk

Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015


Conference presenters may want to think twice about allowing live tweets during their talks, a group of doctors warn. 

The study of tweets from a medical conference found that the majority were accurate, but some misrepresented what the speaker had said. In isolation, they could harm the speaker’s reputation said lead author Dr Damian Roland, a Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Care in the UK. 

Dissonance between the intended message and its translation via a tweet could be due to a number of factors related to the presenter, the tweeter or the technology, he said.

Tweeters themselves may consciously or subconsciously phrase the message to achieve greater impact for their followers.

“Tweets are public and therefore any presenter must think about what they do (and don’t) want distributed. I have heard presenters say please don’t take pictures in the past – could this soon be followed by please don’t tweet?” Roland asked.

The construction of a 140-character tweet which accurately communicates the content and context of the intended message was always going to be a challenge, he added.

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