OMG, I retweeted something. Is it an affirmation? Does that mean I agree to the message? What if I “like” AND retweet it? There have been discussions about what it means when legal professionals retweet or like a tweet. Or more precisely, what it should mean and what it could mean for students.
For me, the basic point of Twitter is learning. I do that on Twitter. I learn about interesting things, from science to philosophy. It entertains me too. I see humor. And I see joy and support and hope. Of course, I also see the worst of Twitter.
I’ve started retweeting more political things. One reason for this is that my law professor tweeted more political stuff. But it’s mainly because I think #whataboutism is crazy. It’s like two children are involved in the knife fight, suggesting that only the stab wounds they inflicted are fair. The gotcha games and the “referees” who play for one team and only call flags for the opposing team’s games are problematic for me. There are more determining factors than who stabbed who first, such as the area of the stab wound and the intent behind the wound. I hope I will stop making a habit of reading political Twitter anytime soon.
I retweet and like my heart’s desire, both things I agree with and things I disagree with. I am learning whether I agree to the tweet or not. Does that make me a Hegelian? Sure, sometimes I call out tweets that I think are problematic, untrue, or false. And sometimes I telescope my political preferences, especially in my areas of expertise. I could be right or I could be trained. Either way, cool.
The role of the law school is the search for our core truths, which requires a look at moral values. The suppression of ideals – even bad ones – runs counter to this. It’s easy to listen to others when we all share the same values. A friend once told me: “Developing the ability to listen and understand different ideas, different cultures, different moral values and different experiences is certainly the most important way to minimize your ignorance and maximize your academic experience by learn from each other.”
That doesn’t mean we should tolerate bigotry in the academy. The root of bigotry is ignorance that arises from protecting oneself from different worldviews. As my friend said, “Bigotry has no place in any academic institution, especially one that is concerned with the never-ending quest for truth, the critical examination of moral values, and the development of skills necessary for creativity and peaceful settlement Disputes are essential. “
This search for the truth requires professors to have a little more humility and compassion than I often see. It means that we have to let go of our own ego (or more precisely, our own insecurities). It means admitting that we don’t have all the answers. It means admitting that we are not always right.
And it means not being contrary to win the 8th grade popularity contest. The purpose of counter arguments is to search for the truth and improve the quality of your own arguments. It could even mean – CFSP – rejecting your own arguments in the face of evidence to the contrary.
But maybe it is that law professors need a Twitter policy in case students read the tea leaves and believe that a professor has them for students with certain ideologies. Here is mine.
LAWPROFBLAWG’s TWITTER POLICY
A retweet is not a confirmation. A like is not a confirmation. A confirmation cannot be a confirmation for the reasons you have assumed. If I follow an account, it doesn’t mean I endorse or read that account’s posts. I follow over 18,000 people and just don’t have that time. When I tweet, it is usually only done with the purest of heart and intent. But I am human. If you have any concerns or problems please feel free to contact me. I will do my best to listen and be respectful. If you go for a more confrontational approach, I’ll assume you just want to get famous and are far less likely to hear your concerns. My tweets usually fall into the following categories: Word games Tweets about my disapproval of certain foods like pineapple on pizza or instant pots. These are just my preferences and I am not trying to impose my will on others. Tweets two spaces after the period at the end of a sentence. These are rebellious tweets against my imperialist overlords by a distance. We will win. Tweets of an analytical and intellectual nature. Yes, I still have a game. Satire (“snark”) is usually used to point out inconsistencies or faulty logic. I reserve the right, like everyone else, to tweet other things or be snarky at times. I’ll do my best to minimize that. It is possible that I am engaging with followers that you don’t like and that I don’t like. That’s okay. I learn from people I don’t get along with. However, if we had an awkward interaction I could mute you. Life is too short. And I’m done walking on eggshells. Repeated inconvenience causes me to block you. I know it seems so, but I’m not always on Twitter. I am working too. A lot of. If you’d like me to add to your scholarship, DM me. But I read it first. You need to remember: a kiss is not a kiss. Ask Fredo. But a sigh is just a sigh. The basic things hold true over time.
Of course, I could change these over time. But you can find them updated forever here.
Hope if you like pineapple on pizza you don’t feel like my opposing point of view affects your note. And I won’t even notice if you put a single space after a complete stop on your exams.
LawProfBlawg is an anonymous professor in one of the top 100 law schools. You can see more of his reflections here. He’s a lot funnier on social media, he claims. Please follow him on Twitter (@lawprofblawg) or Facebook. Email to [email protected]