Please stop quote retweeting

By James Cook on September 3rd, 2013

You know it’s wrong, but you still do it. You see a good tweet on your timeline and you want it. If only there were a way to take those words and make them yours. Conveniently for you, satisfaction is just a quote retweet away.

Copying the text of someone else’s tweet and prefacing it with “RT” or double quotation marks is only OK if you have something to add to the original tweet. If you just quote the tweet without adding anything, then you’re stealing. And nobody likes a thief.

Why do people quote retweet? Simple: they want the attention. What’s the fun in retweeting something when the person who sent the original tweet gets all the glory? A quick quote retweet and the glory is all yours.

Back in the early days of Twitter, retweets weren’t a thing. If you wanted to share a post, you had to manually add an “RT” in front of it or install an add-on that did it for you. Before 2010, this behaviour was acceptable. But now that Twitter has its own retweet button? Unforgivable.

And no, it’s not just a handful of cranky users who hate quote retweets. Twitter hates this kind of selfish tweet thievery too. Mobile users have recently been seeing something in the new Twitter app: notifications of who retweeted your retweets. Forgive us if that sounds somewhat confusing (it is).

But no longer do you need to bastardise someone else’s tweet with an “RT”. Twitter has started telling you when your followers retweet something because of you. Neat, huh?

So just stop it, really.