Don’t mention it!

RT @zeynep Turkish Twitterverse is a sea of “subtweets” – folks from diff “sides” are talking “at” each other in lengthy conversations, but no mentions! (17 Dec 2013)

When I saw the above tweet, I said out loud in spite of myself: “Oh my god, this is really interesting!” I don’t know much about current affairs in Turkey, but something about this phenomenon tickled my interest so much that I found myself keep thinking about it since. ‘Hm, how does it work? Like teen-girl cliques in Hollywood movies?’

I have also realised this Turkish practice is even more interesting, at least to me, if considered in conjunction with what’s going on in the Korean part of the Twitterverse. Here, the issue is the other way around. I have regularly seen tweets urging other users to use @replies and @mentions only when appropriate, because users otherwise hit the reply button as if they are leaving comments at the bottom of a news article. How does the difference matter? Unlike the so-called below-the-line exchanges, which the original contributor might or might not see, the reply tweets are delivered straight to the original contributor and the rest of the world might or might not follow. So, as the tweets like this and this suggest, the etiquette is either @mention and use a courteous language like you would when you speak to a stranger or not @mention at all if you are simply expressing your opinions on what’s been said.

Is it just me or the contrast is really interesting? Culture is a funny thing.


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