AP updates social media guidelines

Nov. 3, 2011
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AP updates social media guidelines

Today the AP’s global news staff received an update of the social media guidelines that were last revised in July, as explained in this memo from Tom Kent, AP’s deputy managing editor for standards and production.

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Colleagues,

Attached is a new edition of our Social Media Guidelines, updating the version distributed in July of this year.

There is one change: the addition of a section on retweeting, which appears below. A full copy of the new guidelines, including the new section, is attached as a PDF and will be posted on the AP

Standards site, standards.ap.org.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Tom

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RETWEETING

Retweets, like tweets, should not be written in a way that looks like you’re expressing a personal opinion on the issues of the day. A retweet with no comment of your own can easily be seen as a sign of approval of what you’re relaying. For instance:

RT jonescampaign smith’s policies would destroy our schools

RT dailyeuropean at last, a euro plan that works bit.ly/xxxxx.

These kinds of unadorned retweets must be avoided.

However, we can judiciously retweet opinionated material if we make clear we’re simply reporting it, much as we would quote it in a story. Colons and quote marks help make the distinction:

RT Jones campaign now denouncing smith on education: jonescampaign smith’s policies would destroy our schools

RT big European paper praises euro plan: dailyeuropean “at last, a euro plan that works” bit.ly/xxxxx.

These cautions apply even if you say on your Twitter profile that retweets do not constitute endorsements.


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