what is a retweet?

If you’re a regular Twitter user, then you’re familiar with retweets. And though you may know how to retweet, do you know what a retweet means?

I retweet quite often, and occasionally, followers who see my retweets are quick to jump to the conclusion that I believe or agree with what was said in the retweet. However, there’s no reason to make such a conclusion.

Let me just give you a hypothetical example. Let’s say @algore tweets this:

I invented the internet.

Then I retweet this:

RT @algore: I invented the internet.

This certainly does not mean that I think I invented the internet. Nor does it mean that I believe @algore invented the internet. All it means is that I’m telling my followers that @algore tweeted “I invented the internet.”

One more simple example. Let’s say @barackobama tweets this:

Go White Sox!

Then I reweet this:

RT @barackobama: Go White Sox!

This certainly does not mean that I’m saying “Go White Sox” (I’m an Angels fan). All it means is that I’m reporting to my followers the fact that @barackobama said “Go White Sox!” Those were definitely not my words. As a matter of fact, by definition, I’m giving credit to the original tweeter so that my followers know who said it.

Now, if you choose to read into that, and think that I think I invented the internet or that I’m a White Sox fan, that’s certainly your prerogative. By writing about this in my blog, I’m simply telling you that it’s not a good idea to read too much into any tweet, much less a retweet.