Washington Post tells staffers not to respond to critics on Twitter


Washington Post staffers are being warned to avoid using the paper’s official Twitter accounts to debate critics, after a brief back-and-forth this week.

Erik Wemple reports that the specific cause of a memo from Managing Editor Raju Narisetti is unconfirmed:

“What is clear is that the circumstances described in the memo do align with a short series of tweets between GLAAD and the paper over a piece that ran in ‘On Faith’ this week. The piece in question was penned by anti-gay activist Tony Perkins, who came up with some interesting theories on why gay teens get depressed.”

In the memo, Narisetti writes that readers are free to question or respond to stories in comments, but official rebuttals from the paper should not be handled on an ad-hoc basis:

“Even as we encourage everyone in the newsroom to embrace social media and relevant tools, it is absolutely vital to remember that the purpose of these Post branded accounts is to use them as a platform to promote news, bring in user generated content and increase audience engagement with Post content. No branded Post accounts should be used to answer critics and speak on behalf of the Post, just as you should follow our normal journalistic guidelines in not using your personal social media accounts to speak on behalf of the Post.”

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