Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When Authors Get Political: Survey Results

This is a topic that has the potential to get heated, so I hope that we can all respect everyone's beliefs and have a rational discussion.

I created a short survey and put it out on twitter. I asked 4 questions, and a open-end response question. Here are the results from this (unscientific and non-random sample of people I follow and that RT'd me). I had 102 responses (thanks to everyone who contributed!)

I know that this post is incredibly long, but I wanted to give a good overview of how people think. You might be surprised by the results. I have not added my thoughts or opinions on this issue to this post. However, I will post them on Friday in a separate post (found here).

How would you classify yourself?

respondent map

Here are the answers from everyone, not broken out into groups. I've also included comments directly from the survey that I thought corresponded with the question. I tried to pick out a good variety of comments. If yours wasn't included here, it's not because I didn't think it was valid or good. It's just that with almost 100 comments, it would have been even longer than it is now. ETA: All comments on this post came from this survey. Some I hated, some I didn't.

Does it bother you when an author tweets about or retweets a link that is political/partisan?

Question 1 Response All
 

"I should say 'sometimes' instead of yes. It depends on the issue and how they treat it. I unfollowed {author name redacted upon request} because some of the things she was saying were downright offensive to my religion (she apparently hates all Mormons). I feel like some people think that they're the only ones entitled to an opinion on a subject and if you don't agree, then you get to have all sorts of nasty things said about you. Sorry, but that doesn't fly.

I held off reading any of her books for the longest time, but eventually gave in and read {name of book redacted}. I didn't want to like it, because I really don't like her, but I did like it. I'm still iffy on her other stuff though." -Author, Blogger, Teacher/Librarian


"Everyone has an opinion and is entitled to it. That being said I don't need it shoved down my throat. The occassional I've had to unfollow an author have all been for those reasons. There is such a thing as too much a good thing, or in this case...someone's personal opinion." -Author, Blogger, Publishing Professional

"I've never noticed an author making a political comment that I disagreed with! I don't know what I'd do if one of them did." -Blogger

"It doesn't bother me because everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I'd be a hypocrite if I let it bother me since I tweet and retweet political things every once in a while. I'm glad people feel strongly enough to share their viewpoints." -Blogger

Have you ever not read a book by an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 2 Response All

"A lot depends on whether they are using their twitter account as a 'public face' for their books, or whether they are simply using it as a private citizen. Something an author tweets won't stop me from reading their books, but I will occasionally unfollow someone who tweets too often (even political issues I am in complete agreement with) because that's not why I am on twitter." -Teacher/Librarian

"I think it's OK for an author to have a political opinion.  However when that opinion is expressed as a character attack rather than a discussion of the issue itself, it is a turnoff and makes me not want to read that author's work.  Same when I am reading a book an it starts to spew political potshots, I often cannot finish the book and feel that the book was written solely to promote the authors political views rather than to further my entertainment.  I feel this is an abuse of my trust in said author when I purchase the book." -Reader


Have you ever unfollowed an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 3 Response All

"The issue is mainly ad hominem, douchbaggery commentary. If someone was doing a well-reasons Twitter commentary on politics, I would actually like it. But that's not what I see. I see writers and agents (!) posting character attacks in 140 words or less. I unfollow these people and I avoid their books. Often times these are people who lean left. I hate to point that out, but there it is. If you're going to shrill for a certain side, at least put some thought into it. And I don't give anyone a pass for re-tweeting political hacks. Bottom line: Life is too short. I don't follow or read books by assholes." -Reader

"Authors who make misogynistic comments, are racist, or tea-party right-wing are automatically unfollowed. The minute someone degrades me as a woman, they're unfollowed. Period. Socially conservative people who are public about that don't get my money.

I allow a little more leeway for people who are fiscally conservative and don't talk about it too much, but on the whole I have very little patience for right wing politics and views. There are plenty of books in the world and plenty of authors writing them, so I don't see why I need to support people who oppose everything I stand for.

As an author I'm relatively quiet on how I vote and for whom, but I make no secret of the fact that I'm left-wing in general and I am a very proud outspoken feminist. I'm okay with losing readers over that, since it's more important to me than sales.

That's how I tend to weigh any political opinion I post: 'is it worth losing money over?' Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't." -Author, Reader

What do the authors think?

Here is a break-down of the respondents that identified themselves as an author. (They could have selected another category as well).

Does it bother you when an author tweets about or retweets a link that is political/partisan?
Question 1 Response Authors
Have you ever not read a book by an author because of a political comment made on twitter?
Question 2 Response Authors
Have you ever unfollowed an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 3 Response Authors

"You can't expect authors to not have political leanings or not to share them—they're people first. As long as they/their posts aren't rude and offensive, I don't have any issues with it. I'm free to agree or disagree." -Author

"I actually enjoy seeing what other people think or believe, even if their views differ from mine. The only time I have an issue with people voicing their opinions is when they verbally attack me for mine. If an author has a memoir, I would hope they're willing to stand their ground on topics." -Author, Blogger, Reader

"Telling the truth is more important to me than the hundred or so people who might not buy my book because I'm not conservative enough for them." -Author, Blogger, Reader

"Some authors have separate accounts for discussing extracurricular topics (John Green's @sportswithjohn comes to mind), and I think highly political authors should try that out." -Author

"Don't do it." -Author

"It bothers me when authors use their twitter accounts as a political platform. I think that your twitter account should be dedicated to your profession, not to your personal beliefs." -Author

"I come to Twitter for book news. If I disagree with political tweets, I always want to debate, but I hate the frustration of debating politics online. Life's too short to be frustrated. I don't mind an occasional political tweet, but a constant barrage ends up with an unfollow." -Author, Blogger, Reader

What do the readers think?

Here is a break-down of the respondents that identified themselves as a reader. (They could have selected another category as well).
Does it bother you when an author tweets about or retweets a link that is political/partisan?

Question 1 Response Readers
Have you ever not read a book by an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 2 Response Readers
Have you ever unfollowed an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 3 Response Readers
"I'm 13 I don't care bout politics we follow authors 2 get insight on the books their writing and other things about the books." -Reader

"For me, as long as the author isn't trying to convert me to believe what they believe, they can state their opinion all they want. Just because they are in the spotlight more, doesn't mean they can't talk about their political opinions like the rest of us." -Reader

"As long as the comments are respectful and the author has some support to his/her argument I truly don't mind if they share their views on political matters." -Reader

What do the bloggers think?

Here is a break-down of the respondents that identified themselves as a blogger. (They could have selected another category as well).

Does it bother you when an author tweets about or retweets a link that is political/partisan?
Question 1 Response Bloggers

Have you ever not read a book by an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 2 Response Readers

Have you ever unfollowed an author because of a political comment made on twitter?

Question 3 Response Bloggers

"I feel this way about about most people, not just authors. I find that so many of the people I follow are preaching to the choir no matter which stance they take. It feels like being bombarded with spam from the left and the right. I'm particularly dreading the next few months. 2008 was bad enough.

I have never followed someone to learn more about their political opinions. From what I can see, no one is changing the minds and hearts of others. At the end of the day, I simply don't care about anyone else's political opinions. If they get too vocal or - worse - snarky, I simply unfollow them. Leaving a bad taste in a person's mouth is never a good thing." -Blogger

"Everyone has a right to speak their mind, so if they want to post the stuff fine. The moment I start caring is when it comes offensive or constant. Politics is a touchy subject and therefore should be posted with a careful eye." -Blogger

"Quite honestly, I am not a huge fan of people talking about politics in general. But when it is brought into a professional setting such as Twitter, I find it even worse. I have always viewed politics as something you keep to yourself. No one else needs to know your personal opinions on such a touchy subject." -McKenna, Young at Heart Book Blog

"Maybe I just don't follow authors who discuss political issues, but I can't recall being upset about a (political) tweet." -Blogger, Reader

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion, even authors. That's why this country is great. Many people have died protecting that right, we should be able use it without fear of offending someone." -Heather, Redheaded Bookworm Blog

"Let's just say they shouldn't." -Blogger

"Authors need to be prepared for the consequences of what they say, no matter what it is. They must understand that people who like their books (which is the REASON they follow you on twitter) may not agree with their political views, and feel trapped. I know that there's almost nothing worse than loving an author and their books, but feeling like you can't connect with them because they keep hammering down their own political agendas." -Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books

Come by on Friday for my take!

36 comments:

  1. You know, being an author is like being a business. So those tweets are like a business tweeting something political. They have consequences. If I was an author I think I would have a bookish Twitter and a personal one only my close friends know of. Same thing with FB.

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  2. Great post! I was going to post something about this after I unfollowed a couple of industry professionals that made political tweets. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and whether people want to voice their opinions is entirely their prerogative so long as they understand that their leanings may ostracized, in this case, their readers.

    I can handle differing opinions but when they start to get unintelligent and emotional is when I start to have a problem. I unfollowed an agent for tweeting an article condemning guns by spouting off completely bastardized numbers and my opinion of this person just sank. After a couple of blog posts about violence I didn't agree with I was done. I unfollowed a really popular author for also making heinously uneducated statements about guns. I just couldn't do it. I still have books to read by this person and that shouldn't have an effect but as a person I can't help but think that they should be more educated than that, they should do better research than that instead of just screeching off at the hip about something that's blatantly obvious they know nothing about.

    Like I said, even industry professionals are entitled to public opinions but they need to be aware of the repercussions of what they say. I think most people are okay with differing opinions but personally I'm not going to listen to those that are just downright uneducated and uninformed. I don't care who you are. It's one thing to form opinions from facts; it's another to just wing shit out there and see if it sticks.

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  3. As I understand it, authors are usually asked to create a twitter account by their publishers, if they don't already have one, but those accounts are still their own. I guess what confuses me is everyone's expectation that because they write books, authors must placate everyone by never ever giving their opinion about anything but cookies and hot guys. Really? Authors are not corporations beholden to shareholders and therefore required to remain neutral. Even if they were, it should be pointed out that almost every single business in this nation gives money to a political party or issue, sometimes on both sides just to hedge their bets. So to say that authors shouldn't be political because they are a business doesn't quite compute with me. I would much rather read a book by an author who feels comfortable being themselves than someone who is simply trying to sell to me by putting forth an entirely neutralized version of who they are. If political statements make you (the collective you, not anyone in particular) feel uncomfortable on Twitter, I'm not exactly sure how you can even be on it in the first place. Of course politics is going to come up because it is woven into to the fabric of who we are as a society. It seems to me that those that have a hard time with any sort of political statement on Twitter are not exposed to a diversity of opinions and respectful political discourse in their real life and find it hard to deal with, in general. It does not bother me because I have found that it's ok to see a political opinion that you don't agree with. It's ok to look at it, think "I don't agree" and move on with your day. You can even be Twitter friends with someone you don't agree with politically. I think I probably only agree with the politics of about 40% of the people I follow, and that includes authors. Yet, I continue to interact and everything is just fine. It doesn't make the other person (author/blogger/whatever) bad because they shared a political opinion. If you don't like what they say, vote with your pocket book. Unfollow them. Don't buy their books. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, in my opinion, we shoudl try to get to a place where we can be ok with someone who tweets about a (respectful) political opinion that is different than ours, even if that person is an author.

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    1. I agree with your thoughts COMPLETELY! Thank you for saying what you did.

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    2. Spot on. I agree as well. Actually, most of the folks/authors I follow on twitter (and in real life) have opinions which are quite the opposite of mine, but I often find I am much more enlightened by reading the articles/thoughts they share -- even if political -- rather than surrounding myself with hundreds of people who share the exact same opinions. How dull!

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  4. I don't like it when ANYONE posts about political issues. The people I follow don't influence me politically, usually. That's not why I tweet. If there's too much of those posts I quit following, but usually I just ignore.

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  5. For me, I don't care if the person (author or not) posts political Tweets as long as they remain respectful. Different opinion than mine? Fine. They're as entitled to their opinion as I am. I just want to see them being expressed respectfully. The only people I've ever unfollowed because of political things have been blatantly rude and disrespectful. I don't like that in anyone, not just authors.

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    Replies
    1. I pretty much agree COMPLETELY with this statement. Respect is all I want. Other than that? Political tweets don't really bother me...unless the amount coming from one person becomes ridiculously excessive. Then I might unfollow.

      I'm glad you shared the results of your survey, Emily! It's definitely something interesting to think about.

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    2. I would agree with these statements. Great results from the survey.

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  6. I agree with the previous comment, it is all about respect. I get super frustrated by the assumption that everyone must agree with a certain point of view or be an idiot. When that attitude shows up I lose respect for the individual and will unfollow/not buy books etc

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  7. I guess I never saw your twitter survey or I would have responded. I do have to say, the author quoted in the survey who says that they will unfollow people who are right wing since she is left wing, WOW! That is someone who is NOT open to even listening to the other side, and if I knew who that was, I would probably not read their books or follow them. I do follow many people and authors,etc., who are not the same political views as me. And I LIKE to hear other people's views. It has often changed my mind on things that I wasn't for sure how to vote or feel by listening to well thought out reasoning. I do have one author I unfollowed because when he put out a political post, I responded, trying to debate him about it. When his replies to me became somewhat rude and basically he was kind of calling me stupid, I did unfollow. Which is sad, because I do like his books, but may not read any more of them now. I agree everyone should have their own opinion, that is what makes this country great. But I can have mine too, and I would never call someone stupid or be rude to them because they disagree with me.
    This was a great idea for a post!

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  8. There was a moment recently where an author said something that rubbed me the wrong way. intentions were not bad since they were trying to be positive about something but they Could have worded it better and it left me offended. it is still bothering me a bit , so i just wish people Could be more aware of what they are saying.

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  9. I don't think Twitter is a professional forum. Twitter is a way for people to express themselves, either professionally or personally. I'm perfectly fine with people saying whatever they want to say right down to their last bathroom break. I won't post about my bathroom breaks, but that's just me.

    Yes, politics are hard to swallow. Yes, they cause differences of opinions. Yes, people get mad. But, how are we supposed to be open-minded and willing to look at other viewpoints if no one is wiling to talk about it or read about it?

    I think Twitter is a great way to voice political viewpoints. And, even though I disagree with a lot of people on their viewpoints, I still like seeing them. One, it makes the authors (and other online people) seem more real.

    Even if someone says something truly offensive or against anything I believe, I will not unfollow them just for that comment. If, however, I decided I have nothing in common with them and I don't like their books once I've read a few, then I may unfollow them.

    I think people are way too close-minded and way too unwilling to listen to other people's views. But, that's just my view and I afford the same courtesy I'm asking for. If you don't agree with me, that is your right and I'm perfectly okay with it. :)

    Oh, and I love discussions and talking over other people's views. Twitter is sometimes hard because of the 140-character limitation. But, I still enjoy it.

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  10. when one of your survey-takers provides an opinion about an author and presents it as fact, and then you publish it anonymously without verification, you have, de facto, perpetrated an act of slander.

    authors are citizens and are entitled to their opinions, but comments and surveys that rely on the moral integrity of anonymous participants leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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  12. While people can, of course, follow or not follow whomever they want, I think it is unfair to expect authors or industry professionals not to express their opinions. (With the proviso that applies to all humans, that they do it respectfully.)

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  13. I find this very interesting, especially as someone who was very, very political in the last few weeks with my ChickFilA video.

    I'm a little perplexed that people think there's really THAT big a difference between an author's political beliefs and her books. I write about strong, independent, tough female characters...so is it surprising that I was offended about what I saw as a conservative attack on women's reproductive rights? And I have developed, genuine, kind gay characters in books...so is it shocking that I so adamantly campaign for their equal rights? Not to imply that all my characters reflect me exactly, but I think most authors mesh, in some way, with the deeper themes of their books.

    That said, I try not to be flat out offensive-- I do think that's inappropriate and can get flat out mean (an actor I used to adore turned out to be an ultra conservative blogger who tells his followers to STFU fairly often-- THAT was the problem, not the conservatism). BUT...I don't think I can conform to the idea that I should just sit down, shut up, and crank out books. I'm a person first, and think it's my responsibility to stand up for what I believe in, even if it costs me a few readers/followers in the end.

    LOVE this article!

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    1. I am of the opinion that silence makes you complicit. If we allow a culture of hate and persecution to exist because of our silence, then we are also guilty. We should learn this from things like the Nazis and McCarythism - the greatest threat to freedom is the silence or complacency of the citizens. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in despite what it may personally cost you.

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  14. I'm open to all kinds of political views, so long as I'm not personally offended. I'm for certain things some people aren't, but as long as they're not actively trying to hurt their rights or saying my opinions is stupid, they can feel how they want to feel. If they're an author/industry professional or not, why should it matter? I follow these people in twitter so I can get a better sense of the person and see if I like them.

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  15. It seems to me more and more that authors and industry professionals are not allowed to have opinions. I bemoan and complain all of the time about human rights issues. I don't think that makes me any better or worse at performing my job as a literary agent. I'm not going to unfollow an author or industry professional or blogger because they like white chocolate. I think that stuff is vile. I'm not going to unfollow someone because they thing gay marriage shouldn't be legalized, and I think it should be. Authors are people too, guys. They have grown up in subjective ways just like everyone else and expecting them never to be passionate about things is ridiculous. I dislike Orson Scott Card for his stance on gay rights. He pushes every one of my buttons. I don't wish to give my money to him, but I won't say that he shouldn't be able to wax poetic about things he is obviously passionate about.

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  16. As someone who is very open about her politics, this discussion does interest me. I'm like Jackson, in that my beliefs should be pretty evident in my books. Pro-choice, but also pro-life, in that choice often leads to life. (In at least three of my books.) Pro-gay rights, because that means pro-equal rights. (All of my books portray gay characters positively.) So the other day I lost a follower here because I said I supported gay rights as equal rights. I said it was a fair trade-off, and you know why? Because there's a large swatch of this country where young people only hear one side--from parents, teachers (not all, but some) and even their ministers. If someone they respect (as an author, or any public persona) doesn't ask them to at least consider a different way of looking at things, we'll continue to regress, and that is exactly what we've done as a country in the last ten years. Progress is about opening minds. I'm happy for them to dissent, happier still for the discussion, as long as it remains respectful.

    As an aside, I've never considered Twitter a place for "business" per se. Lord, the people who post nothing but updates about their projects.... now that gets old. I'd rather see the real side of them than the person they pretend to be in public, especially when that person only talks about him or herself. How boring.

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  17. I think I'm a little confused on why it's even an issue. Authors are human beings and are free to think for themselves, as well as tweet whatever the heck they want to. I personally don't tweet religious or political stuff, but just because I don't do, doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to. I don't know why anyone feels authors should just tweet about their books. Don't get me wrong, I love reading those tweets, but it would be boring if that's all they tweeted about. Twitter is a place for them to connect to their readers and other authors. I personally love that I have friends who all have a variety of beliefs and political stances that very from mine. It's the fact that we can all RESPECT each other's differences that makes it talking about these subjects entertaining. I feel like lately, when ever an author or really anyone who makes a public comment about their belief (what it that may be) gets slammed by someone else who doesn't agree with them. To me that's not right. I don't get why it's ok to hate on someone who beliefs different than you or has a different politic stance than you do, no matter who you are.

    Interesting post, and really interesting responses.

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  18. Very insightful post. I'm on the side where I'm fine with authors posting about politics so long as they're not offensive about it (which goes for anyone, not just authors on twitter - I've unfriended people I actually know on facebook for being offensive about speaking their minds). But I also don't follow authors TO get their political opinions (unless they're a nonfiction writer, etc.), so if it were a constant stream, yes I'd probably unfollow. I love that you included the comments!

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  19. I guess I don't really care if an author/agent/whoever wants to tweet political things as long as several things happen.

    - Said tweets must be respectful.

    - Said tweets should not be made with the mindset that everyone agrees with what is being said. It's SO frustrating to have my views marginalized or discounted just because I'm in the perceived minority - get off your high horse, elitist.

    - And said tweets should not be too frequent. It's like any other non-work topic. After a while, it just feels like spam and I get super-bored.

    Does that make sense? The worst thing about the internet is that oftentimes deep, nuanced discussions about sensitive issues are impossible. Words are so easily taken out of context, and an innocent statement can quickly turn a conversation into a lopsided shouting match.

    Also, I do on some occasions steer clear of certain authors' books just because I recognize that they're very passionate about their worldview and that said worldview will most likely pop up in their books. Author X may think a certain way about Subject J, but I certainly won't waste my reading time voluntarily having it jammed down my throat.

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  20. As Ellen Hopkins goes, so goes my nation... and I don't think it's a bad thing for kids to say, see an author they admire stating, for instance, that they support equal rights for all and that includes gay marriage.

    Also while it is probably best not to descend to the depths and shout 'SARAH JANE IS A POOPFACE' from your twitter when you're a pro author, you do have to be a person and not a promo machine... and a lot of people are somewhat political.

    Plus your books really do often reflect your beliefs to an extent, so I don't know how big a surprise people's basic political beliefs are going to be?

    And for what it's worth, whoa, talking about someone hating any group of people should need a citation, because there's a serious thing to fling around.

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  21. I think I'd like to add that I'm fine when an author (or anyone, really) posts something POSITIVE about what they believe. If you want to post "Yay! We're making progress toward equal rights! [link here]" that's totally fine with me. If you post something like "Suck it, reds! Someday you'll all be super-ashamed of how you acted about equal rights! [link here]" Then I'm going to be offended. Even saying something like "I'm sad about the pro-life decision made today." is extremely preferable to "What were those ****** thinking of passing that bill? The world has gone straight to ****."

    Now, the are all just examples. No one said any of that (that I know of), and they come from my bias brain. But hopefully you can get my jist. I feel like being extremely positive toward what you believe is just as effective (if not more so) as being negative toward people who don't believe the same. So long as you are always talking about YOUR side of the issue, and not badmouthing the OTHER side, we'll get along just fine.

    I'm sure people won't agree with me. They will say that badmouthing the other side is necessary because if the author's "reined it in" they wouldn't be truly expressing their opinions, or something like that (or not. I'm no mind-reader). But if everyone truly expressed their honest opinions all the time... every person on earth would be dead. Especially most of the people I went to high school with. ;)

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  22. Great insights, as reader, i un follow author for biased political tweets, I only follow authors if I want to follow them, regardless of the follow back.
    If someone author follows just to get more followers, but don’t get a follow back, I have to wonder how interactive they are in the first place.

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  23. I'm with Sarah, Jack and Ellen. I don't tend to get into political discussions on Twitter (140 characters is not enough to have a nuanced conversation.) But I will absolutely retweet a video, an article, someone else's genius tweet on a subject that matters to me.

    I grew up queer, female and poor in the midwest. It was a really hard place to grow up; I had no Internet to tell me it would get better someday. And I've been very open about being sexually assaulted, having depression, and attempting suicide.

    Because all of those things are things we tend to, as a society, try to avoid discussing. It makes people who haven't experienced them uncomfortable. But it suffocates people who have.

    I would have killed to have seen SE Hinton's tweets when I was 14; I'm really thrilled that I get to see them now. And my Twitter is yes, a public version of myself, but it's not a billboard. It's all my stuff, and that includes my politics.

    But really, anybody following me either knows me, or has probably read my books. They already know what I'm like. So my tweetstream shouldn't come as a terrible surprise! :)

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  24. I'm kind of unique because I'm way more conservative than most of the bloggers/readers/writers that I follow. I am used to being offended on a daily basis on twitter. But, at the end of the day, I feel like even the most outspoken authors I follow are often doing a lot of good. I think it's one thing to tweet about politics, religion, etc. It's another thing to tear someone else's opinion down. Like, I don't care if you tweet that you're a republican or a democrat and you support so and so's beliefs. It's when you cross the line and tell me MY beliefs are stupid that I have a problem.

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  25. This brings to mind that old saying that if you want to remain friends (or friended by) someone, never talk about politics and religion. ‘Cause they often divide more than unite.

    And great discussion here, which has made me question my own views on the issue.

    That's what I wish for any discussion of politics - to be open to all perspectives and then research and reflect - and which is sadly so lacking in our elections.

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  26. I really enjoyed reading the survey results. I don't think I hold authors/industry people to a different standard than I hold anyone else. I like politics and political discussions, so I think it's cool when anyone brings up ways that people can get involved politically. (encouraging people to vote, contacting *their* representatives, etc)

    The thing that bothers me is all the name calling. A blogger I follow had some interesting things to say after the whole Chic-Fil-A business the other week, telling people they "would get theirs" Yikes. That sounds more vaguely threatening than opinionated. I don't think that kind of comment is appropriate.

    I wish that people could express their views without being labeled bullies (or bigots or idiots), or being told they're hell-bound. But that's not the world we live & tweet in. I think anyone who posts political things has to realize they might bring the wrath of twitter upon them, or will have people unfollow.

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  27. This is a particularly fascinating post for me because I lead a bifurcated life writing YA novels and working as a political columnist. Back in 2005 or 2006, someone told me they'd stopped following my (then) Livejournal blog because I was writing about politics and they didn't want their readers to see it when they looked on "friends posts". It was at that point I made a conscious decision to try, if possible, to keep my political and author selves separate. I have two Twitter accounts, one for each "self" and some people follow me in both places. It's challenging because having an opinion is what I get paid for as a columnist, and it's hard to just turn off the switch because I've switch into author mode. My journalism work in some cases informs and inspires my fiction. I'm sure I've lost followers on my author twitter when political me sneaks into the feed, but c'est la vie.

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    http://www.surveytool.com/employee-engagement-survey/

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