Thanks to conservative Texas Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick for this illustration of why you should edit tweets with rigor:
— Aman Batheja (@amanbatheja) February 26, 2014
When Dan Patrick has a twitter typo, he has one heck of a twitter typo. pic.twitter.com/1gRwqKqNGP
— Michael Li (@mcpli) February 26, 2014
Here’s what Patrick meant to tweet:
MARRIAGE= ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN. Enough of these activist judges. FAVORITE if you agree. I know the silent majority out there is with us!
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) February 26, 2014
If you go to the original tweet now, though, here’s what you see:
We can see the tweet because journalists who saw it grabbed screenshots immediately before Patrick could delete the tweet.
Richard Kendall tweeted that advice after I tweeted a link to a news report about the tweet:
@stevebuttry “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” and don’t forget to screenshot tweets if they might disappear…
— Richard Kendall (@richardkendall) February 27, 2014
I responded with advice that became the headline here:
@richardkendall Yes, absolutely. If it looks too good to be true, grab a screenshot now.
— Steve Buttry (@stevebuttry) February 27, 2014
Jenn Lord Paluzzi had a suggestion:
— Jenn Lord Paluzzi (@jpaluzziSun) February 27, 2014
I don’t embroider, so I thought I’d settle for a #twutorial post.
It might be a good idea to screenshot any tweet you might want to use in your reporting. But you should especially grab a shot of an embarrassing tweet that someone might delete.
As I noted last year, screenshots were an important part of the reporting when the Register Citizen last year reported on cyberbullying by high school students in Torrington, Conn., after two football players were charged with raping 13-year-old girls. The tweets disappeared once reporter Jessica Glenza started inquiring about them, but the screenshots preserved them.
To preserve a screenshot on a Mac laptop, use command-shift-3. On an iPhone or iPad, simultaneously press the home-screen circle and the power button. (If you use other devices and know how to make screenshots, please provide instructions in comments.)
Update: Kendall shared this post on fast image publishing tools that might be helpful in posting screenshots and other digital images.