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Twitter Ethics: Navigate New Social Media Terrain

'Although these ethical mistakes can be made in 140-character increments, the public backlash can be long, deep and damaging'

- August 3, 2009
A Twitter account for the Minnesota Twins (@twinsbaseball ) sends out game updates after each half inning, says David Erickson (@dererickson), director of e-strategy at Tunheim Partners in Minneapolis. "I assume they do it in-house, but I don't think it would matter if they had someone doing it on their behalf," he says. And, he adds: "I don't know that there's an ethical imperative to reveal that fact."

Probably not, in this situation. What about this one? Joe Hodas (@VJbrandcomm), senior vice president of brand communications for Vladimir Jones in Colorado Springs, says, "I follow some interesting and big names on Twitter, like Steve Case and Jack Welch. In the past few days, I saw a post from Welch talking about an interview he just did and wondering and worrying about what it would look like when it was edited down. [It] felt genuine."

"Then I saw one from Steve Case today touting higher occupancy rates at resorts and then point-blank pimping one of his investments -- Miraval resort, which he has been Twittering about a lot. Now, maybe I'm wrong, but it sure seems like one was written by Jack Welch and one was written by a PR flack who is trying to make sure each post gets across a key message," says Hodas....

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