It seems that plenty of people are still having trouble understanding that most things posted to Twitter are posted in public
. Apparently a local newspaper in Michigan ran into some angry community members when a writer for the paper dared to quote some Twitter comments
without first contacting the people in question for permission. The newspaper stands by its usage of the comments, noting that they're fair game, and Caroline McCarthy over at News.com (where I found the original story) makes the point succinctly
But here's somewhere to start: If something is public, it's quotable. If you don't want to be quoted, don't say it on the Internet. If you have a public Twitter account and say something, then, yes, it's public. Should Twitter users expect to be contacted and asked for permission to have their tweets reprinted? Don't count on it.
Still, as noted, it is interesting to see how people seem to perceive
something like Twitter as being more private. I'm guessing that may change over time, but it does suggest the sort of level of intimacy that Twitter creates among many people who use it.