NYT Issues Memo to Employees Instructing Them to Reduce Twitter Use

By Haxorjoe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Days after free speech advocate Elon Musk bought a majority stake in Twitter The New York Times is telling employees to be wary. An internal memo to New York Times employees discouraged them from using Twitter and reiterates that attacking colleagues directly or indirectly in public is not allowed.

The Daily Wire reports:

NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet explained the updated guidance, billed as a Twitter “reset,” in an email to staff. Baquet said that the NYT is overhauling its approach to Twitter to scale back the emphasis the outlet places on its journalists being engaged online.

“We can rely too much on Twitter as a reporting or feedback tool — which is especially harmful to our journalism when our feeds become echo chambers. We can be overly focused on how Twitter will react to our work, to the detriment of our mission and independence. We can make off-the-cuff responses that damage our journalistic reputations. And for too many of you, your experience of Twitter is shaped by harassment and attacks,” Baquet wrote.

“It’s clear we need to reset our stance on Twitter for the newsroom. So we’re making some changes,” he continued.

Baquet said in the email that maintaining a presence on Twitter is now “purely optional” for NYT staff. For those staff who choose to stay connected on Twitter, the NYT now asks its staff to “meaningfully reduce” social media usage to avoid trapping themselves in a social media echo chamber, as well as cut down on online harassment and abuse. He also announced new support structures for those staff members dealing with online harassment.

Baquet also re-emphasized that NYT staff’s presence on social media is a direct reflection of the company but that any activity on the sites needs to be held to a higher standard.

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