#Twittergate: What are the ethics of live-tweeting at conferences?

Tweetchat on livetweeting at conferences led by @tressiemcphd. Issues covered--the nature of academia, privacy concerns, intellectual property theft. Also significant: Tressie's follow up blog post http://tressiemc.com/2012/09/30/an-idea-is-a-dangerous-thing-to-quarantine-twittergate/

  1. still waiting on that "ethics of live tweeting in the academy" convo.
  2. @jmjohnsophd just curious as to what folks perceive to be the boundaries of appropriateness, respect, etc
  3. @jmjohnsophd tweeting during one's own panel? tweeting about one's own panel? tweeting to/about other panelists?
  4. @wardellfranklin I wonder if conversations differ from panels differ from large lectures, etc. as far as ethics of sharing.
  5. @wardellfranklin @jmjohnsophd I think its relative to the device. I'm on my phone & I think it looks bad. Looks like in not listening
  6. @wardellfranklin Tend to view panels as part of the public domain. As in, anyone can walk into a panel and receive the information exchanged
  7. @wardellfranklin but I'm not sure if we've (academia) had the conversation beyond social media's ability to draw publicity, share 411
  8. @wardellfranklin It is an interesting question of ethics and etiquette as well. Ex: when are conference conversations too private to tweet?
  9. @ColeJocelyn @wardellfranklin Ah. The attention question. Another side of the ethics/etiquette of live tweeting.
  10. @ColeJocelyn @jmjohnsophd do panel participants owe it to their colleagues to be fully "present"?
  11. @wardellfranklin @ColeJocelyn That assumes that live tweeting is automatically distracting. Not always the case; this may b generational.
  12. @jmjohnsophd @ColeJocelyn @divafeminist public spaces, yes. but also (often) sites for sharing ideas in formation & work in progress.
  13. @ColeJocelyn @jmjohnsophd i don't think it's supported empirically. i definitely wouldn't buy it from a student in my class trying sell it.
  14. last word for now: i think it is uniformly inappropriate for a participant to tweet during a session & only situationally app for audience
  15. @wardellfranklin I would agree it's bad form for panelists to tweet during others' presentations. audience tweeting a keynote or
  16. @wardellfranklin 2/2 a panel which is clearly non-workshoppy and not likely to put panelists in uncomfortable position also seems ok to me
  17. @wardellfranklin @ColeJocelyn @jmjohnsophd I'v read abt a way 2 auto-trigger tweets frm powerpoint/keynote so spkr can still b fully present
  18. That's interesting: is public scholarship about resolving guilt of having access?
  19. @tressiemcphd Wow, I was just watching those retweets. No! I mean, maybe it is that for some people, but WHAT a generalisation! Academics...
  20. @tressiemcphd This is REALLY interesting. I look forward to your post about it. ;)
  21. @tnopper @tressiemcphd Some academics tweet etc as much as possible for other reasons. Eg at many confs I am leading the tweeting.
  22. @tnopper @tressiemcphd Interesting discussion, but once you put ideas out there they are no longer yours to control.
  23. @tressiemcphd For me, public scholarship is about sharing the access to academia that I have been granted. Not feeling 'guilty' about it.
  24. @tnopper @tressiemcphd If I'm at your talk, am I allowed to take notes? Or do I have to check them with you before I leave?
  25. I'm thinking. Ownership, conflict, control, guilt. Hmmmm
  26. @tnopper But, why are you presenting sensitive information at a conference? You should never present ideas if concerned about IP /copyright!
  27. @tnopper Who am I doing it for? The people who couldn't afford to come to the conference, mostly. The ppl who would be there, if they could.
  28. @tnopper Peace. Yes. Sorry to bug, I just put a LOT of work into what I do and your public tweets were a bit critical of my cause.
  29. .@JulianeStockman yeah. I'm thinking. One thing is clear: the train has left the station on the tweeting thing. Impossible to enforce
  30. I mean, you could threaten to kick academics' asses if they tweet a conference but it'd be a different conference. Interesting but different
  31. @tressiemcphd Its reality. Happening whether you like it or not. Business peeps ENCOURAGE it. Free marketing.
  32. True lol rt @scATX: @tressiemcphd and not that someone would crib the idea. Academics, you so strange.”
  33. @tressiemcphd And I also can't tell if the issue is the LIVE tweeting or just any tweeting about work in progress. Weird, whichever.
  34. Either way there's now the potential of a WWE academic cage match conference AND I AM INTRIGUED @scATX
  35. .@tressiemcphd I think it’s the responsibility of every academic who tweets to do so at conferences.
  36. @tressiemcphd I have to say I'm joining @scATX in laughing at that nonsense. stodgy, indeed.
  37. @tressiemcphd Oh SIGN ME UP. The question is, would academics abandon the de rigueur black shirt/pant combo and wear special outfits?
  38. @graceishuman @scATX it definitely went off the rails. Too emotional for me to engage it. Backed away slowly
  39. @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX There were definitely deleted tweets, right, because I looked for the backstory and something's missing.
  40. @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX ah yes so I see. The gist: some academics don't want you tweeting their talks+
  41. @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX their ideas are too complex for tweeting, should be thought about.
  42. @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX most intriguing to me: public scholarship for some is about guilt over having access to Uni resources
  43. @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX also something about if academics take a dump should it be tweeted? Lol
  44. @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX Ah. Let's keep it all to the life of the mind and people who paid the conf. entrance fee, no?
  45. @tressiemcphd I'd be honored if someone wanted to livetweet a talk I was giving.
  46. @roopikarisam presenters consent to a very specific format, tweeting disrupts that & mostly for personal gain - building scholar brand
  47. @roopikarisam I must say it had never occurred to me that one could feel so violated by it. That's also got me thinking
  48. @tressiemcphd The first part, I'd agree with (consent to format) but not so much the second part.
  49. .@roopikarisam sames. So should scholars indicate their consent to be tweeted/FB'd/etc in their talks?
  50. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX similar anxieties arose at the mla a few years ago. Think a lot of it is the academic+
  51. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX ...culture of needing 2 b the smartest person in the room. This means no room to be wrong
  52. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX ...& if twitter catches u in a half-formed thought, u fear u lose credibility...
  53. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX I really dislike this aspect of conservative academic culture. As David weinberger says,
  54. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX ...we're going to need to rethink our notion of expertise with the Internet. +
  55. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX ... The smartest person in the room will no longer be a person but the room!
  56. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX Yet, presumably the entire point of conf. presentation is participate in a conversation.
  57. There is a discussion to be had about where ownership of idea meets great idea ether @roopikarisam @adelinekoh
  58. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX Twitter would enlarge the conversation. But then again, not everyone is on Twitter to engage.
  59. @roopikarisam @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX EXACTLY. As I said its part of that culture of needing to be the smartest person around
  60. If I tell you I'm looking at how welfare policy shaped for profit growth can I shape what you do with that info? @adelinekoh @roopikarisam
  61. The tension for me becomes what I give up learning as I try to control my knowledge @adelinekoh @roopikarisam
  62. I think it's the idea of what constitutes a conversation that's the issue @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX
  63. Not agreeing just trying to sort out what I think was the issue raised @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX
  64. @tressiemcphd @adelinekoh Steal it and write that myself? <--- This is a big part of it.
  65. Yep. Rt @roopikarisam: @tressiemcphd @adelinekoh Steal it and write that myself? <--- This is a big part of it.”
  66. I will say, I think we underestimate how lazy people are. Stealing an idea takes actual work @roopikarisam @adelinekoh
  67. @tressiemcphd @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX Fair enough - not everyone wants to engage in pub schlsp (Voice in my head shouts "WHY NOT?")
  68. Ah so maybe it's about engaging them in pub scholly without their consent? @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX
  69. @roopikarisam it's all academic anyway. Can't stop it, can't control it except by never participating in conferences
  70. @tressiemcphd This makes me laugh? In fairness, one expects conf talk to not leave a room. Better not discuss talk w/ anyone not there.
  71. @roopikarisam @tressiemcphd I agree. Many expect convo will never leave room. Conference as space for trial-and-error?
  72. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @graceishuman @scATX A grant to sit in private and write in a language only intelligible to others in the know?
  73. @literarychica @tressiemcphd I'm repeating myself here, but my kingdom for someone who wanted to talk about my ideas after leaving the room!
  74. @roopikarisam @tressiemcphd +1! Was just telling a group last week that I'm glad for Twitter bc there's an audience that knows my work.
  75. @literarychica @tressiemcphd So we're discussing the expectation of privacy for... a public talk. There's a Roe v Wade joke to be made..
  76. @literarychica @roopikarisam ok I see that but I guess I think tweeting doesn't disrupt that process. But I get fear
  77. @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @graceishuman for me it's also about access - we can't all afford to get conferences...
  78. @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @graceishuman I appreciate tweeting of panels or papers I'd like to see but can't afford to
  79. @scATX Absolutely. Got to hear about 4 conf last week. How about that for production, distribution, and consumption of knowledge.
  80. @tressiemcphd stealing happens anyway. I've seen 1st hand paper submitted for conf. Rejected. Stolen by v ppl who called for papers.
  81. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam I agree with both of you, 100% percent. Doesn't disrupt process. I think it goes back to ideas about Twitter.
  82. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam Ideas about Twitter but also ideas about control of their ideas, which goes back to something T said early on.
  83. @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd don't we all know of someone's work be stolen? Friend showed something to TWO ppl.
  84. @literarychica @roopikarisam what tweeting DOES do: makes it visible to presenter what people think or when they aren't engaged
  85. @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd part of academia is sharing work. But balancing with getting ideas published first. Ridiculous ensues.
  86. @tressiemcphd @literarychica @roopikarisam (butts in) that might be one reason why some academics hate Twitter tho they never used it? ;-)
  87. @scATX @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd Big part of the problem is the fact that you haven't "owned" an idea until post-peer review.
  88. @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd But if you have long digital record of ppl discussing your topic, there is power in that.
  89. @scATX @tressiemcphd sure. Paper was submitted in good faith. "stealers" had resources to abuse that good faith & get away w/ it.
  90. @scATX @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd Ideas worth stealing are worth circulating. But there's that lag between steal-worthy and publication.
  91. @scATX @zunguzungu @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd Probably not by refusing to give talks and show people work or by Twitter embargoes.
  92. @zunguzungu @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd right. I feel that pressure acutely now. Am nervous about putting around chapters.
  93. @scATX @this1littlebird that's kind of my thinking: broaden ownership to include work pre publishing. Naive maybe @zunguzungu
  94. @scATX @zunguzungu @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd People lazy enough to steal your ideas are generally also too lazy to do a good job.
  95. @zunguzungu @scATX @this1littlebird so risk is inherent & unavoidable? This is when I generally construct a control myth to feel better
  96. @roopikarisam @zunguzungu @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd my friend who had stuff stolen had it stolen by famous, established scholar...
  97. @roopikarisam @scATX @zunguzungu @this1littlebird that was my earlier point! May steal a phrase or framework but your 3 years of data?
  98. @scATX @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd so I have been following along- just wanted to add maybe there is an ethics to what u tweet of others.
  99. @scATX @zunguzungu @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd There are some profs notorious for that. I'm comfortable believing that's the exception.
  100. Agreed! I'm thinking your response to their work is fair game but not their actual work? @drcompton
  101. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX jumpin in but i think the pt is that the speaker can't join convo until after.
  102. @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd I've been thinking, "would I write a blog post about work not yet published that I've read?"
  103. @scATX @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd maybe the fear is misrepresentation or manipulation, thievery or uncertainty
  104. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX and, if the speaker doesn't care, tweet away; but if they do? what is harm in+
  105. @scATX @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd uncertainty around not knowing, saving face, or being able to correct.
  106. @kristenwarner the only thing about that is that it happens anyway. People talk a out you during/after talks. Is public nature so different
  107. @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd I feel like that happens to me just when ppl have convos about my work in dept, part of the deal.
  108. @scATX @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd That's really interesting. But an unpublished chapter is different from public talk right?
  109. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman @scATX bc no one knew etiq. of backchannel. so ppl'd say what they wouldn't in person.
  110. Dang, my timeline's got me thinking deep thoughts re: tweeting & academic conferences. cc @tressiemcphd @drcompton @qui_oui @roopikarisam
  111. @roopikarisam @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd true. But I'm participating in a public workshopping of unpublished diss tomorrow.
  112. Agreed @drcompton: @scATX I think the thievery is moot-have2 deal w/ that regardless Twitter & Conf d8 actually helps w/timeline”
  113. @tnopper thanks for adding your perspective to yesterday's dialogue. thanks, too, for the tumblr shout out.
  114. @scATX @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd How public? We had diss colloquium, workshopping chapters. Wouldn't consider that "public."
  115. @scATX @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd vs. say conference of, how many people attended MLA? Thousands? Or 120 in a big panel.
  116. @literarychica @tressiemcphd @qui_oui @roopikarisam I'm feeling guilty now for tweeting a session I attended at Annual Meeting this yr now.
  117. @scATX @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @adelinekoh @graceishuman yep. i tweet bc it helps me think thru speaker's pts BUT it's not always ab me.
  118. @scATX @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd My TL says this really about people actually listening/engaging, not IP issues.
  119. .@scATX @drcompton @this1littlebird @tressiemcphd I think there's a conf panel to be assembled here on Twitter backchannels.
  120. @tressiemcphd not entirely diff but those convos dont ring in the same ways as in twitter.i mean what's a pvt convo IRL becomes public here.
  121. @tnopper @wardellfranklin Can you really tell if I'm typing on my tablet because I'm tweeting or because I'm taking notes?
  122. @tnopper an aside, Tamara, I want to be cear that I'm not trying to represent your argument. I'm riffing on what it made me think about
  123. I'm interrogating my position here. I think knowing what people think of me makes me feel more in control than private convos #twittergate
  124. Before a bunch of powerful men would poo-poo your ideas & shape your reputation & you might never know. #twittergate
  125. At least if they're on twitter they, one, have to own up to it. Two, I can respond. Three, I can respond. #twittergate
  126. But I totally get how people might feel that representing their work for them is a violation of their labor #twittergate
  127. I am really thinking of some kind of disclosure as part of conferences -- this is an augmented conference or not #twittergate
  128. My assumption that LT is fair is b/c of MLA. OTOH, there are people who'd complain if they knew what it was. #twittergate @tressiemcphd
  129. I think "public" got redefined too quickly for the format & ethics to keep up #twittergate
  130. I err on side of the broadest interpretation possible when it comes to information but I will seriously ask if its self-serving #twittergate
  131. Is backchanneling our way of building a "hip" digi-brand at the expense of presenters? Fair question #twittergate
  132. Certainly not my intent but unintended consequences are still consequences #twittergate
  133. @tressiemcphd I think that's a *really* important question (self-serving)
  134. Twitter controversy could be a function of how we individually interpret Twitter, e.g. a RT is a good thing. #twittergate @tressiemcphd
  135. Because I tweet, therefore I am? It's not admiration or anything, just self-serving? I don't buy it. #twittergate @tressiemcphd
  136. @tressiemcphd @nathanjurgenson yep. the idea of control over one's conf presentation is odd...if you publish, can ppl tweet summaries? #same
  137. but of those assumptions which could we practically control? managing bad actors at what expense? @drcompton #twittergate
  138. There are two threads here. One is that tweeting is just rude. Two is the issue of control over one's presentation #twittergate
  139. @tressiemcphd Maybe people just need to think about how certain tweets make us look like jerks, in a professional context. Twitterquette?
  140. I'm less sympathetic to one of those. And I need to figure out why. #twittergate
  141. @qui_oui See, I don't want fake you on twitter. I want REAL assholey you SO THAT I WILL KNOW. But, that's just me.
  142. Then I have to worry about the ethics of the ethics! Too meta rt @drcompton Will #Twittergate be @tressiemcphd 's next blog?
  143. .@tressiemcphd My guess is part of the issue is how we define "public" and "conversation." #twittergate
  144. Not get all race-y Mc-race-y on y'all but I am me so here we go: live thinking #twittergate
  145. Being black, which I am, there's this feeling often that you're being treated differently generally in academia particularly #twittergate
  146. But it is hard to prove a counterfactual. e.g. How do I prove that a white woman wouldn't have been called scary w/same comment #twittergate
  147. As a result I see any tool that makes public the back stage where so much discrimination resides to front stage a net positive #twittergate
  148. @tressiemcphd it's one way debate about race gets "de-fused" I think. Your experience is never enough (a friend was saying this last night)
  149. @tressiemcphd I find it helpful to have this stated explicitly. Helps me see more clearly the backpack of privilege situation.
  150. @nathanjurgenson @tressiemcphd 5 sec version: a panel presenter took issue with other panelists tweeting during presentation, yes, Tressie?
  151. Put as much of your real self out there as possible. At minimum, my reality of perceived differential treatment is validated #twittergate
  152. But I concede that is a deal I'm making totally based on selfish interests. And that's a fair charge #twittergate
  153. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX film and media conferences. there was one time a speaker mentioned a show that+
  154. @bonstewart @nathanjurgenson Yes. 2 primary reasons: it's rude (focus on complex ideas needed) &building "public" brand at expense of others
  155. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX invoked a particular scholar, so everyone tweeted him (he wasn't even there).
  156. @adelinekoh @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam @graceishuman @scATX our tweets essentially started a war that OS didn't intend for. that was bad.
  157. @tressiemcphd But "assholey" is relative, I don't think anything you tweet is unprofessional; challenging/critical, yes.
  158. @tressiemcphd really respect ur guts on this. Its scary-but agree totally-also dont want 2 get burned. untilithappenstho go all out!
  159. @tressiemcphd from afar, I think the rudeness/misrepresentation piece holds some credence...tweeting mid-presentation means may miss points
  160. @tressiemcphd and does not leave space for response...but this is a risk regardless of medium...diff is in scale and immediacy of impact
  161. @surlyurbanist assumes that not tweeting means one is paying attention when it only means inattention more visible to presenter #twittergate
  162. @tressiemcphd true but what constitutes rude is the demonstration of inattention not the actual inattention
  163. So this is probably definitely about my orientation towards twitter as @roopikarisam said earlier. #twittergate
  164. @surlyurbanist @tressiemcphd Or it may mean you’re recording important points. I use Twitter to take notes at conferences.
  165. It's no secret that I view this medium as a potential tool for subversive narratives that disrupt dominant narratives. #twittergate
  166. Gah! rt @surlyurbanist true but what constitutes rude is the demonstration of inattention not the actual inattention #twittergate
  167. @surlyurbanist I know you're right but I so don't get that. LOL social lies befuddle me like I'm Sheldon #twittergate
  168. @profblmkelley no you didn't. a convo started last night about tweeting at conferences as rude & inappropriate.
  169. @profblmkelley two primary issues: you can't be paying attention if you tweet & wrests content from control of presenter.
  170. @tressiemcphd these things matter...I have profs ban laptops and all I do is print out papers to read and tweet from phone. But they prefer
  171. @bonstewart @nathanjurgenson @tressiemcphd Reaction 1. Oh, puh-leeze! 2. Conference organizers should establish social media rules.
  172. @tressiemcphd hmm... would note taking be considered rude? Tweeting (respectfully) is a form of public note taking. Expands the audience.
  173. @GeorgeOnline @bonstewart @tressiemcphd as a conf organizer, we frame soc.media use a bit, but try to let it emerge more bottom-up
  174. Banning a laptop in a grad class? I swear on everything some folks make you question your allegiance to labor rights. #sigh
  175. @nathanjurgenson @GeorgeOnline @bonstewart that's my concern. backchanneling works precisely because it was mostly guerrilla #twittergate
  176. @tressiemcphd Can't imagine someone who uses twitter feeling this way. But folk who haven't tweeted imagine twitter as a bit more sinister.
  177. @tressiemcphd I’ve never had a prof ban laptops, but I’ve heard of it. I would just do it anyways. It’s my education.
  178. @profblmkelley the complex part is that the initial convo was with a scholar who tweets! there are a lot of feelings wrapped up in it.
  179. I know this: if a little bit of power makes folks that crazy then a whole lot of power goes without saying. Banning ADULTS from laptops??
  180. @roopikarisam @profblmkelley it was mentioned that notes are different. i think the difference is normative definitions of "attention"?
  181. @drcompton @tressiemcphd Though I think definitions of "jerk" can be used to police others, so not sure where the "line" is there.
  182. I mean...sometimes what you're saying doesn't require that much thought on my part. Or is that wrong to say? LOL
  183. @tressiemcphd @roopikarisam How does someone control audience behavior? And why would you try? I'm generally happy to have an audience. ;)
  184. Look, no one wishes your lectures were deep recesses of innovative thought more than a grad student.
  185. @trentmkays @tressiemcphd It's also a huge pain in the ass. I can't type notes without my laptop; I write too slowly.
  186. @graceishuman too far, eh? probably. i knew it when i typed it. LOL
  187. @qui_oui @trentmkays honestly, my hand hurts trying to keep up with my brain.
  188. @tressiemcphd @trentmkays I know. It's not MY problem if other people are Facebooking their way through a grad seminar, either.
  189. @tressiemcphd @qui_oui Same. My problem is my hands are too big to hold pens and pencils comfortably, unless it’s a physical therapy pen.