Niki Cheong blogging

I do not use a Twitter ghostwriter

Those of you who have been keeping tabs with social media would be really familiar with Twitter. I am totally hooked on it now, although I have been Tweeting since mid-last year.

Today, the Internet and Twitterverse have been buzzing about some personalities using ghostwriters to maintain their Twitter accounts. Posts that I have read attribute this to a New York Times article published yesterday which revealed that some celebrity Twitterers had hired ghostwriters (or GhosTweeters as I have come to call them) to post their Tweets.

Many Tweeple (yes, we create our own words in Twitterville) responded negatively to this, including @artmaker, one of my new found friends on Twitter. Other celebrities have spoken out against it too.

The NYT article quoted basketball star Shaquille O’Neal as saying:

“It’s 140 characters. It’s so few characters. If you need a ghostwriter for that, I feel sorry for you.”

And cycling legend Lance Armstrong, just 15 minutes ago said on Twitter (I’m following him, so his Tweets pop up on my Twitter client Tweetdeck) while linking to the aforementioned article:

I agree w/ Shaq on this one.

Earlier, in response to a Tweet asking Ashton Kutcher if he had a ghostwriter, the actor responded with a simple:

not a chance. I would rather not tweet at all

At first, I didn’t think too much about it, until the part of the article which mentions that new-media guru Guy Kawasaki, who was one of the first few people I followed on Twitter, was actually not the the person himself, but instead a team of two GhosTweeters.

Because then when you discover that someone you look forward to Twittering with, and admire, is not who he says he is, it strikes home real hard.

This isn’t like a product endorsement where you are lending your name to something. The accounts are attributed to you, and a majority of Twitter accounts belong to individuals (some organisations have Twitter accounts too) and as such, people expect the face behind the avatar to be posting the Tweets.

In fact, GhosTweetering reminds me of lip-syncing. Remember how upset we all got when Milli Vanilli (am I showing my age?) were busted? Or when (and this is more contemporary) Ashley Simpson had that major lip-syncing boo boo?

We all reacted negatively because it’s fake. And cheating. And lying.

I recognise that people use Twitter for different agendas – some use it to make new friends, some use it as a marketing tool and others just have nothing better to do with their lives. So my thinking is, if you are an individual who needs GhosTweeters to maintain your account for you because you have either no time, or can’t be bothered – declare it.

Then at least people are informed before they decide whether or not they want to follow you. And not feel cheated when they find out the truth.

So with this, I am going on the record to say that it is really me behind @nikicheong (Click on the link to follow me on Twitter). And if I ever find the need to hire GhosTweeters, I’ll be the first to let you know.

12.13am Malaysian time (+8 GMT)

Discussion (1)

There is one response to “I do not use a Twitter ghostwriter”.

  1. Ling responded:

    · Reply

    Haha… Speaking about ghost-twittering, did you see our new PM’s twitter @NajibRazak? *swt* I really don’t know what’s the purpose of having a Twitter account like that…

    xoxo,
    Ling

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