AP issues staff guidelines on retweets, no ‘personal opinions’ allowed or implied
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.
Disclaimers -- like "retweets do not constitute endorsements" -- do not protect AP staffers if they violate these guidelines.
Previously, the guidelines -- which were last updated in July -- said simply that staffers "are welcome to retweet and share material posted by official AP-branded accounts on social networking sites (e.g. @AP, @APStylebook, etc." Below read the full update from Tom Kent, AP’s deputy managing editor for standards and production, and responses to the announcement.
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.