Have you ever seen ‘MT’ in the initial position of someone’s tweet and thought: ‘is that a typo or did they mean ‘RT’ ?’
It can all get a bit confusing this Twitter mullarkey – you think you’ve sussed it and you pick up on new things! But I’m all for sharing new tips so we can all enjoy a very powerful social media tool in a respectful way.
‘MT‘ means ‘modified tweet‘.
‘MT’ is a signifier of the fact that the poster has added a little something of their own value to the tweet in republishing it by modifying it.
‘Why would you want to modify a tweet?’
There are many reasons why you may tweak a tweet to either boost its value or add a view whilst still respectfully attributing it to the original ‘poster’.
These could include:
- Changing a hashtag in order to share the content with another Twitter chat community
- Indicating that you have added (or perhaps deleted) an element of the tweet, usually indicated by placing the altered element in [square brackets] to offer another angle, challenge an assertion, or confer approval.
- Correcting a typo or factual error (be sure it is actually an error; again, flag up the change you’ve made).
Regarding the question of respectful attribution: you may ask ‘isn’t it rude to modify someone’s tweet?’ Ultimately, this is a matter of personal opinion. Personally I’m delighted to see someone MT a tweet that I have posted on the basis that it indicates to me that the original publication triggered a chain of thought, a pattern of association, or a new conversation.
For me, the MT encapsulates the benefits and virtues of social business and polite etiquette in two letters.
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