Top approaches to closing down debate on twitter


I’m ignoring you because you are not in my gang/haven’t got enough followers/don’t understand that Twitter is an echochamber


Clearly you don’t understand the evidence

I am much cleverer than you; it couldn’t possibly be because you disagree with me it must because you are not clever enough to see what I can


Clearly you didn’t read the article

A variation on #2 – you only read the headline; if you had read it all clearly you would agree with me


You are a progressive

Ultimate insult - your response is influenced by your value base while mine is influenced by the evidence


You are a traditionalist

Ultimate insult – your response is influenced by your value base while mine is influenced by the evidence


But you once said (insert previous tweet from two year ago when you said something which might not be exactly what you are saying now)

How dare you change your mind or hold multiple views on same topic – clearly you are a flake. Look how clever I am to point this out. Now I can ignore what you are saying today


You are not teacher

It doesn’t matter that you are a parent; work in education; care about education; are a member of a society that relies on education – only teachers (who are exactly like us) are allowed to comment on what happens in a classroom


Unpleasant personal jibe

I cannot argue with you on the facts or am unable to debate opinion so belittling you by saying that you are a woman/minority/fat is my best hope of feeling like I have won this


Jolly jape usually with my twitter buddies at your expense

We own twitter – look at this stupid fool who thinks that they have a right to play in our playground – ha ha ha


We would love to hear your own personal favourite to make our top 10


There is lots of this in the education, and indeed wider twitter sphere (it is not restricted to education or third sector - just that that is where we spend much of our twitter time).

Does it matter? On a personal level not so much. Grates a little, we are pretty robust; been around a lot and our team have multiple routes into the debate. We are well connected in the real world and have influence and impact.

But does it matter to those not so fortunate in their connections. Yes. So many teachers and others with much to say and to contribute to the great debating and knowledge sharing that Twitter can be have reflected how they have given up on Twitter (and other social media).

Does it matter to the wider debate. Very much so. Several of the last appointments to government roles have had large Twitter followings. Were they invited because of their skills – probably in part. Would they have been invited if not so high profile on Twitter – probably not. There is a lot of talent out there. That some have been fortunate/prescient enough to build their social media platforms and their brand and then been appointed to a senior role have a responsibility to bring others with them not shut them down. David Weston @informed_edu is a model of how to use Twitter with integrity and respect.

It is true that with great power (and followers) comes great responsibility – I think Spidey might be a slightly better role model than Superman.