Out of context

I read a news item on the BBC this morning about an MP who used Twitter to voice an opinion on a recent court case. It resulted in a backlash but the offending tweet was said to have been taken out of context. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion but when using Twitter it's worth remembering you always risk your comment being taken out of context.

The very nature of Twitter leaves little room to establish context without filling a timeline with a series of posts which in itself should give the author an indication that Twitter probably isn't the best outlet the opinion being voiced. The best way to avoid a potential backlash from a tweet is to ask yourself one simple question before hitting that send button:

Could what I actually mean be misinterpreted?

If the answer is yes, you may want to consider another outlet to write a more considered opinion and use Twitter to invite people to read it. Taking the time to write a longer piece outlining your thoughts and motives gives it context and leaves little room for misinterpretation while keeping the subject open to (hopefully) constructive criticism, debate and discussion.