General Etiquette > Techno-quette

Twitter and Perceived Privacy

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I use Lists on Twitter to view seperate groups of people - say PastaLovers, IRLFriends etc

A now former friend a while back had been posting on Twitter in an open timeline using a hashtag of say #peanut30 one week then #peanut29 the next and over a number of weeks you notice the trend and other comments about hormones/tiredness, so in the course of a separate conversation over email I congratulated her.

This was met by accusations of stalking and/or someone telling me she was pregnant. I explained that this had not been the case, and that it was a simple deduction based on her timeline comments on Twitter.

Was I wrong to congratulate her? The comments were in the public domain, and glaringly obvious. Should I have just played dumb? Is there a perception on privacy associated with Twitter that I am not aware of?

Nope. You were fine. She was rude.

I think she is being a bit ridiculous, and definitely overreacted. It's silly to publicly post obvious statements then accuse someone of "stalking" when they comment on it.

Well, on one hand, it's a bit silly to expect public posts not to be read. On the other hand, she didn't explicitly say she was pregnant, and it is a bit weird to comment on what was (albeit easily) deduced, especially since you aren't that close. If she wanted you to comment on her pregnancy, she probably would have told you she was pregnant. (And FTR I do think it's a bit ridiculous to vaguebook on twitter about pregnancy.)

Twitter? Privacy?

The whole point of Twitter is that it is not private.

If I saw the same sort of countdown, I'd assume it was the poster's way of informing people she was pregnant.

You don't want people to know something, you keep it off social media. Once it's out there, there's no going back.


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