The 8 commandments of tweeting on Election Day

It is going to be especially tempting to share and retweet information in the heat of Election Day. My colleague Mallary Tenore wrote about the six social media mistakes journalists are most likely to make and how to avoid them. I'm going to boil my advice down to a few guidelines.

Be careful.

As the day goes on, there will be reports of fraud, frustrations, polling problems and dirty deeds. This is an election.

Be aggressive.

Without a doubt, there will be leaked exited polls and rumors of leaked exit polls.

Be skeptical.

How do you know what you know? What's your hurry?

Be certain.

There will be projections and data released while voters are standing in line and polls are still open.

Be fair.

It will be tempting to think that you are just passing along what somebody else wrote.

Be responsible.

It is normal to get caught up in the excitement of Election Night and want to tweet your emotions and opinions about the candidates and campaigns.

Be credible.

Your reputation and your news organization's reputation is at stake.

Be accountable.

Attribute everything. Assume nothing.

Good luck.

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    Al Tompkins

    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around the world.


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