The New York Times is cracking down on its reporters’ and editors’ tweeting habits, that is, if you believe what you read on Twitter.
NYT executive editor @deanbaquet says Times will institute tougher social media rules for employees— jennifer steinhauer (@jestei) October 12, 2017
On Thursday night Jennifer Steinhauer, a Times reporter and Twitter user (but for how long?), tweeted that Times executive editor Dean Baquet said that the newspaper plans to “institute tougher social media rules for employees.” This, in my professional opinion, is no fun at all.
Politico reported that Baquet made the statement during a talk at George Washington University. The paper followed up on Friday by releasing the guidelines online. The key point: “In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”
The Times is worried about reporters and editors damaging the paper’s reputation by saying ill-advised or hastily conceived things on the network, which is a fair concern for any news organization. What this fails to consider, though, is that watching writers who are journalism-famous joke around with each other is one of the few joys left in this sad, low-paying, increasingly unstable profession, and can’t they just, like, be cool, man? Of course much of what goes on Twitter isn’t fit to be published in the Times; it’s Twitter, bruh. Whatever happened to putting “RTs are not endorsements and tweets don’t reflect the views of my employer” in people’s bios and calling it a day?
On Thursday evening, power-tweeting Times journalists and their fans mourned the end of a looser Twitter era with, what else, tweets. Let each one envelop you in warm memories of a time when we happily wasted hours a day on an arguably too-permissive social media platform that made us all crazy but gave us a few laughs along the way, too, didn’t it?
better do all my bad tweets fast: fonts are boring - Opera should be in English - CRASH BANDICOOT was the only good game - white peopl 1/248 https://t.co/uTisDuOPIm— Choire (@Choire) October 12, 2017
[lips pressed to the mic as a security team wrestles me away] COLLOIDAL SILVER HAS NUMEROUS THERAPUTIC USES https://t.co/jJamHfyzNk— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) October 13, 2017
::takes deep breath, speaks quickly::— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) October 13, 2017
a guy walks by a bar. now he's a lawyer.
why aren't there cat parks?
what's a mad hatter anyway? https://t.co/cs7FolDLrf
Bad news, starting today I am mandated to tweet 3x as often https://t.co/CyUR5Eam9c— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) October 12, 2017
Welp, there goes my avocado takes. 🥑 https://t.co/devMm4GadK— Monica Castillo (@mcastimovies) October 13, 2017
It was nice knowing all of you. We had a great ride. Stay blessed. https://t.co/ftqLCKwN9h— Sandra E. Garcia (@S_Evangelina) October 13, 2017
I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. https://t.co/PpMq6art0y— 32 across (@aoscott) October 13, 2017
Time to ration my restore-the-Hapsburgs "jokes" I guess.https://t.co/rEbkp656Aa— Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) October 12, 2017
Walnut Sauuuccccceeeeee....... https://t.co/QJcB4FNiS0— Jason Horowitz (@jasondhorowitz) October 13, 2017
Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life. https://t.co/Dl3UIatsj2— John Schwartz (@jswatz) October 13, 2017
Those poor Timesies! But was any Twitter cri de coeur more visceral than this one, from one Times colleague to another?
willy we're fucked— Naomi Fry (@frynaomifry) October 13, 2017
Democracy dies in tougher social media rules for employees.