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Should You Censor Yourself On Twitter?

Sure. Sometimes. Why and when depends entirely on who you are, and what you’re trying to achieve.

Here’s the thing – in public we all censor ourselves to some degree. Twitter, as a public platform, shouldn’t be any different. While it’s important to be yourself (or, ideally, the best version of you), common sense tells us to be respectful, or at least mindful, of others. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express opinions you feel strongly about, but it does mean you should try to be polite.

(Up to a point. Remember: you can’t please everybody, and you’re on to a hiding to nothing simply by trying.)

I’m not saying you have to somebody you’re not. The opposite, actually. Just don’t be too loose, and don’t be one of those people.

(You know… morons.)

This is good advice for most personal accounts. For brands on Twitter, it’s a little different. Whether run in-house or managed by somebody else, they have to censor themselves. Otherwise bad things can easily happen, either through sloppiness or letting personal feelings cloud your judgement and emotional reaction. When everything you’re doing is based on reputation and trust, you simply cannot afford to be gung ho with your community.

There’s a big difference between censoring yourself on the internet, and internet censorship as a whole. Bottom line: if your network expects you to be outspoken and controversial, then being something different wouldn’t be true to anybody, especially yourself. But there are usually obvious limits, and for most of us it pays to work out what these are as early as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, and those limits are there to be flirted with. Absolutely get out there and spread your ideas and content. But go too far over that line and you might not be invited to come back.

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