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Twitter Boycott Celebrity Manifesto

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PREAMBLE

We, the people who populate Twitter, in pursuit of a more perfect and democratic social media world, believe that all twitterers are created equal. Twitter is a community, vibrant, electric, ever-changing, and not necessarily like-minded, nor in agreement about anything at all, but for one inviolable truth, that all twitterers are created equal, that the moment you add your username and password, and for the duration of your active use of Twitter, you become part of the community, or “conversation” as it is known among Tweetsters.

But as in all communities, there are those who choose to abuse the proud and ennobling rights of expression granted to them as Twitmeisters. Among those whose action we twitsters do not condone are spammers, overt marketers and proselytisers and most importantly those who take from Twitter but give nothing to its community in return.

THE STATE OF TWITTER

As Twitter has risen in cultural importance, it has attracted a group of people who often, although by no means exclusively, fall into this final category.

This group of people is known as celebrities. Celebrities come from many walks of life, but included among them are the following; performers of popular music, actors in feature films or television programs, leading professional sportsmen and women, popular newscasters and anchors; and politicians or other public figures. Celebrities, by definition, share one trait. They are famous, and as such create a variety of often conflicting impulses in those blessed by anonymity. These include a desire to welcome, please, serve and otherwise connect with a given celebrity on the one hand, and the desire – often borne of schadenfreude or jealousy – to tear down said celebrity.

The traits listed above, exhibited by most non-celebrities in one form or another, even those who profess disinterest in celebrity, are borne of the fact that celebrities are regarded as different, in some ways superior, by virtue of their fame. There is nothing wrong with this phenomenon in itself. It might indeed be an unavoidable, perhaps even primal human response. However, in certain fora, this form of social stratification has no place.

CELEBRITY ACTIONS

If a celebrity chooses to enter public space, they have no special rights as private citizens. They are subject to the laws, to social decorum, and have the same rights as those around them.

Twitter is, in many respects, a virtual version of a public space. If anyone wishes for privacy, they can protect their updates and allow them to be viewed only by those they choose, but most twitterers join the community in the hope of learning from and contributing to the conversation. Most twitterers follow those in which they have an interest, and are followed by the same. In doing so they can participate, in a small but often meaningful way, in the lives and thoughts of those in their community within the community.

It is the belief of the signatories of this document that some celebrities abuse the privilege of being Twitterers in the following ways:

First, that some celebrities willingly join the community with open accounts, but pay for a member of their publicity team to tweet for them, without making it clear their own voices are not being presented on their accounts.

Second, that some celebrities willingly accept followers, but do not follow in return, thereby removing the possibility that they open up a private direct message channel between themselves and the community at large.

Third, that some celebrities use their accounts, whether written by themselves or others for overt self-promotional purposes, and regard their presence on Twitter as a means of showing that they are “with it”.

Fourth, that the contribution to the conversation by some celebrities is limited in the extreme, with few updates of note, over and above news of their latest tours, movies or award shows.

Our recommendations are as follows;

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

We believe that in order to avoid needless stratification of our community, participation by celebrities should be governed by their agreement to abide by the openness of the wider community. To wit;

First, Twitterers should should refrain from following or should unfollow celebrities celebrities who fail to make clear who is writing their tweets.

Second, Twitterers should refrain from following or should unfollow celebrities celebrities who display an unwillingness to follow others to a proportional degree.

Third, that Twitterers should refrain from following or should unfollow celebrities whose accounts suggest participation in Twitter merely as a fan site message board, rather than wholehearted community engagement.

Fourth, Twitterers should encourage other tweetsters who display or express an urge to connect to offending celebrities to refrain from doing so until the said celebrity has joined the community in a more forthright way.

Fifth, Twitterers should encourage celebrities who fail to meet community standards to become more involved in the Twitter conversation by following, contributing, and tweeting for themselves.

These recommendations are just that. There is to be no censure if Twitterers choose  to disergard them. They are guidelines for the widening of the Twitter community.

Some celebrities should be exempt from the above recommendations due to the importance of their duties. These include among others, The President of the United States, Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and senior members of national legislatures.

DESIRED EFFECT

Every community has rules, whether codified or not. Twitter is no exception. But on Twitter there’s only one rule. Be a part of the community if you have an open account.

We believe that our actions in regards to celebrities will make Twitter, and indeed society as a whole, stronger;

First, by demystifying celebrity and inviting them to understand that they too are people, just like us. This will help emancipate them from the chains of their own celebrity.

Second, by broadening the Twitter conversation to include the experiences and thoughts and wisdom of these emancipated celebrities.

Third, by engendering a great sense of equality, and sharing, in the wider community, by the bringing down of social walls in a space as influential among early adopters as Twitter.

Signal your support for this manifesto by leaving your spotcher handle in a comment below, and i will publish the petition over time.

If you support the principles contained herein, please forward the link to your twitter community.

Yours in twitterdom

Simon Gornick   @thereisnoplan

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Written by coolrebel

February 14, 2009 at 5:13 pm

Posted in celebrity, twitter

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