Censoring Edutwitter

One of the best aspects of twitter as a place for professional conversation and growth is the ability to hear other opinions and beliefs. It’s amazing how many differing viewpoints one can discover just by searching a few popular hashtags or via threads on behavior, engagement, assessment, et cetera. Just yesterday, I asked the following question:

Here’s a link to the tweet and wonderful conversations that followed. Again, many different ideas, many different beliefs…and all very respectfully discussed. Just wonderful. Edutwitter at its finest.

So, I was a little taken aback when I was recently asked by someone in the edutwitter world to stop using their hashtag.

There are a few things disturbing about this:

  1. No one owns a hashtag.
  2. The thought that someone believes they can control a hashtag or what his ‘audience’ can/should read is quite disturbing.
  3. The silencing of an educator who has different beliefs because it is contrasting and may mislead his audience.

Be afraid of the silencing of ideas on edutwitter. Whenever discussion is respectful and civil, all opinions and ideas should be allowed. You don’t want to enter into a discussion with someone? Fine. Don’t want to respond to a tweet? Okay. But don’t attempt to hide counterpoints simply because it doesn’t fit in with your mantra…especially if you believe the intentions of the person are genuine:

Twitter is a wonderful place for professional growth.  So many differing ideas and opinions to help one question their beliefs and introduce others. A teacher can log on for 10 minutes and interact with any number of teachers, researchers, experts, and authors from around the globe. Amazing.

Why would anyone genuinely want to stifle that experience? I don’t understand. Be wary of those people/hashtags/companies.

For what it’s worth, this is the post that led to the DMs asking me to stop using his hashtag. Please notice the comments he posted and judge for yourself.

7 Thoughts

  1. There have been lots of attempts on UK Twitter to control dialogue, inc. hashtags – particularly @ukedchat and @SLTchat which I founded in 2011 for school leaders. My attempts were futile to shun away advertisers or trolls who wished to control, steer and spam a timeline. This has also happened online for CPD events when hashtags are published in advance, trend and then the odd ‘inappropriate message’ pops up on everyone’s timeline. 10 years later having used Twitter, I realise any attempts and strategies are futile. Twitter is an open-dialogue and that is still how I perceive it to be used. Have tried and failed… and my conclusion is, it’s naive and foolish.

  2. I’m wary of any educator who refers to their “audience.”

    Just like I’m wary or any educator who refers to students as “clients” or “customers.”

    Oh, and teachers who refer to their “brand”??? Really???

    Teaching isn’t a reality show, nor should it be a way to publicize one’s webstore.

    But I’m getting off topic, so I’ll stop.

  3. There is an irony being told not use #hacklearning on #edutwitter #NotSureHackMeansWhatYouThinkItMeans

    Good teachers deliver lessons, great teachers steal them and make them fun

    BTW I posted this reply on my blog if you add webmentions using https://brid.gy they will show up as comments on your site.

  4. This isn’t terribly surprising. #hacklearning isn’t just a hashtag anymore, it’s a brand and has a large selling market with books, etc. I’m sure there’s need to protect the image. With careful observation, you’ll see thoughtful promotion within its sphere. I sometimes feel the same with a few other edutwitter authors. I can’t tell where true beliefs, good intentions, and solid teaching ends and marketing begins.

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