Clicking through to the user's Twitter page I found this mini-bio: "The official Twitter account for the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) red-shirts protest rally at Phan Fa Bridge."
Official, eh? Interesting. The account had only posted three tweets, and had about 10 followers. Seeing they were new to the game, I figured I'd help out by giving them some free publicity:
The "official"(?) 2010 UDD protest Twitter account: @RedPhanFa2Day (pretty awful choice of Twitter name, why not @redshirt2010 or sthing?)I don't think I was being unduly skeptical. Anyone can *say* they are the official anything online. I will tell you right now that I am the official wallet inspector for the Greater Bangkok Metropolitan Area, but you'd be foolish to believe me.
This response arrived shortly thereafter:
@thai101 Tks 4 ur comment. There R numerous "red" twitter accs. This name was deliberately chosen to identify with this rally.Fair enough. I still think it's not a good handle, because it could be catchier and easier to remember. But they're entitled to choose a bad name. And I'm entitled to think it's a bad name from a PR perspective, and to say so.
The other thing I noticed was their use of txtspeak, the hyper-shortened version of English. Even though Twitter has a 140-character limit, you can usually get your point across quite well without it. And I think those who want to present a professional image and be taken seriously should avoid it. I like to use it when I'm being ironic, but that's just me.
So maybe I was being snarky, but I was trying to give a genuine tip when I then replied:
@RedPhanFa2Day Also, it will increase your credibility if you don't tweet like you're in 6th grade.Now, I'm rather certain that the next reply was from a totally different person, given the level of English. Or maybe I just drove them into a fit of uneditable rage. But I was genuinely surprised by it nonetheless (though it took me 11 hours to notice it, since they didn't tag my username properly):
@ thai101 Dont undastand offical? Then we know who the 6th grader is. We're tweeting 4 ppl who English is a 2nd language ot just rude expatsSo apparently they're also tweeting for people who use English as a second language (not just rude expats), which somehow justifies their use of nonstandard English. Although somehow I think that if this really is their target audience, using words that people can't look up in the dictionary isn't the brightest idea.
To date there has been just one subsequent tweet from that account, which appears in normal English, apparently written by the original tweeter, not the one with diarrhea of the thumbs who lashed out at me.
All in all, if this really *is* an official Twitter account of the UDD rally (and I maintain that my question is perfectly valid -- official according to who? Weera? Thaksin? Lin Ping?), whoever has been put in charge of updating it is not very savvy with this whole social media thing.
But then again I'm just a rude expat.