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Who Sees Your Tweets?

Earlier this week someone asked me who sees what when a tweet is sent from a public account. My Twitter stream has also been full of controversies such as the fiasco that is Charlie Sheen and retweets of Charlie Sheen on Twitter (Tiger blood or #winning, anyone?). There have also been disagreements between users of some hashtags which don’t even seem related to the tag, and a couple of friends (In their 30s!!) and in a separate incident a coworker of my husband’s, fighting over Facebook comments.

All of this goes on, despite the fact that anyone using or following that hashtag, or anyone following both the sender and the person being tweeted, or any friends of the recipient on Facebook being able to see what is said. Many times, in the case of Twitter, only half of the conversation is seen because the reader either doesn’t want to, or know how to, look up the rest of the conversation and things are taken out of context.

Here’s a quick visual:

Note: Names used are those of two dogs at the shelter I volunteer at. Any likenesses to those living or dead in this infographic are purely coincidental.


However, as soon as you add a dot before the name of someone you are tweeting as in .@Jen everyone following you sees the tweet, whether they are following Jen or not.

Note, Direct Messages (or DMs), are only seen by the recipient. These are typically sent by typing d Jen at the start of a message or in the appropriate tab or column if your Twitter client supports this, which many do.

Think before you tweet.

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