I pick up a few followers each day and my policy is that assuming the person is real (that is, not a spammer or other kind of self-promoter) and seems reasonable enough, I will always follow them back. Without fail. If they later turn out to be an insane person (or, worse, rude), I can easily unfollow and/or block them.

Lately I’ve had one or two people follow me (who have I then followed back) who tweet exclusively in their own language. That is, a language that is not English. A language, therefore, that is not my own.

I take a fair bit of responsibility here. When it came to languages in school, I slacked off a bit. I have a basic command of French and recognise a few (mostly choice) words in other European languages, but when it comes to complex prose, and certainly anything from most of the countries around the rest of the world, I’m lost.

The Question

Which presents something of a moral dilemma. My question is thus, and it’s two fold:

  • What is the correct etiquette for following users on Twitter who exclusively tweet in a language you don’t understand?
  • If your goal on Twitter is to become a power-user/influencer and recruit loads of followers around the world, should you expect to have to tweet in English?

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