How to lose followers on Twitter – a helpful guide for lawyers and legal journalists

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  • I think it helps that you Tweet a lot, and that you are very generous in engaging with and promoting others. Also, your Tweets come across as warm, humorous and human, which is why I followed you.
    Did you get a big spike in followers around the time of #twitterjoketrial? Often, being well-known outside Twitter will attract a lot of followers.

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  • DOES THIS MEAN I HAVE TO GET A TWITTER ACCOUNT NOW ....

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  • Like other areas of life, popularity/notoriety on social media is self-propelling - the more you engage with your audience, the more they engage with you and each other. Probably the most important advice above is not to take un/following personally - people's motives are genuinely not worth analysis, and as long as one is personable, human and informative in one's tweets, a happy medium is to be found. (and in answer to penny's comment /question, I first encountered you in the context of Simon Singh but really took notice because of twitter joke (sorry if this is duplicated, I'm typing on my phone)

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  • Or as in your case block those whom are either bettering you in an argument or when they point out an inaccuracy.

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  • Green is an example of one of those new breed of people who treat numbers of followers on twitter as something akin to a badge of honour. He appears to leap onto every bandwagon going, including the recent pornography case at Kingston Crown Court in an effort to increase his following.
    However he doesn't like criticism, even when justified. I know of several examples, including recently a senior lawyer, where he has blocked tweeters after being correctly challenged.
    Sadly social media provides a platform for his ilk who seek to pontificate and self aggrandise.

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  • Thank you for all the lovely comments!

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  • Prue - yes. But first learn some basic online etiquette ie that writing in caps is the equivalent of shouting. Pipe down!

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  • I agree with Tim. Green is a self-publicist of some genius, and a classic "reinventer" (a strong Tory well into his 20s, it doesn't work out for him as a commercial lawyer, and Lo! He's suddenly a liberal lawyer offering opinions whenever it gets him attention). The Twitter joke trial was a fine example of this, a pure construct of Green, with a little help from Fry and Murray. No cause célèbre at all: Chambers pleaded guilty after a duff legal ruling by magistrates, and he was unlucky on first appeal to come before a particularly asinine circuit judge, sitting with two more lay justices. It goes to the High Court and is put right. At the heart of the case a very simple point with a very simple answer - was the tweet menacing? What exactly was Green's role in this, as solicitor? The appeal required no preparation at all and would have been entirely advicate driven. But look at the self-generated coverage and you would think Mr Green was the capes crusader.

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  • May I suggest a new law of the internet? Allen's Law - If the author of a piece states they have not committed a humble brag, then one must deduce their humble brag is compounded by an infinite degree
    As for how to gather Twitter followers, a cynic may suggest becoming involved with a high-profile court case, even if one's direct legal experience is utterly irrelevant.

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  • @James Walsh
    "The Twitter joke trial was a fine example of this, a pure construct of Green, with a little help from Fry and Murray."
    It was more that it was of natural interest to tweeters and it was the first case of its kind to get to appeal.
    "No cause célèbre at all: Chambers pleaded guilty after a duff legal ruling by magistrates..."
    Incorrect. There was no "legal lruling by magistrates". Paul pleaded guilty before a single district judge who then allowed him to vacate the plea.
    "...and he was unlucky on first appeal to come before a particularly asinine circuit judge, sitting with two more lay justices."
    The Crown Court appeal was the first time lay magistrates were involved.
    "It goes to the High Court and is put right."
    At the first High Court hearing the judges were split 1:1. Exceptionally, and only for second time this century, the court had to reconvene with three judges. Not very straightforward.
    "At the heart of the case a very simple point with a very simple answer - was the tweet menacing?"
    With benefit of hindsight, yes. But until High Court decision, it was not clear what, if any, basis an appeal may be suceessful on.
    "What exactly was Green's role in this, as solicitor? The appeal required no preparation at all and would have been entirely advicate [sic] driven."
    Indeed, I was part of a team and we worked well together.
    "But look at the self-generated coverage and you would think Mr Green was the capes [sic] crusader."
    A little harsh? You will see that John Cooper did most of the press and TV coverage on verdict, not me. For a supposed "self-publicist", I am dreadful with cameras and microphones!

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  • @Tim Johnson
    "He appears to leap onto every bandwagon going, including the recent pornography case at Kingston Crown Court in an effort to increase his following."
    I was actually asked by Myles Jackman, the defence solicitor in that case, to do what I could to populise it. (I suspect I lost more followers than I gained as well!)

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  • @davidgreen
    Thanks for the factual corrections, each point is taken, but none of belies my observation that the twitter joke trial raised a very simple question, and to my mind at least was a case of obvious error in the lower court being corrected on appeal.
    I don't buy for a moment the point re the divided divisional court showing matters weren't straightforward. Judges have different opinions and dissent from one another all the time. All the first court proves is the general unwisdom of judges sitting in even numbers. (My guess is that they disagreed over whether the finding of menace was a finding of fact, which, on an appeal by case stated, they had no jurisdiction to reverse. In one sense, of course, it was such a finding, but so perverse was that finding, given the nature of the tweet, that one hardly needed to be Lord Denning at his disingenuous best to say that an error of law could be detected.)
    And talking of disingenuous, references to Cooper dominating the TV coverage are rather incomplete, aren't they, when you yourself argue above the line that a disregard of social media makes you a media Adullamite? Anyone using Twitter would have been challenged to miss the torrent of self-regarding posts from you about the trial. Including classic publicising tactics like "teasers" (the solitary "Gosh" gambit).
    All this being said, it is good of you to take time out from your no doubt busy legal practice to reply.

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  • If you have time to follow and Tweet anything you probably don't know anything useful and if you do you can't be trusted to keep it to yourself. You also have too much time on your hands.in the first place, and I would not hire you.

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  • There is a reason what DAG has loads of followers. His tweets have often pointed me at plenty of useful legal information and legal issues that I might not otherwise have been aware of and no doubt others feel like this as well. And he seems like a nice bloke. So if he has a high profile it’s hardly surprising.

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  • Some people here just don't get Twitter at all

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  • @ anonymous of 15 Aug at 3:05 - Having time to tweet clearly shows that you haven't enough to do, but having enough time to add the 13th comment to an article by a lawyer about tweeting? That clearly demonstrates a thriving practice, and your anonymity demonstrates that you can be trusted to keep your useful knowledge to yourself. Would you hire me? In case it helps, I have closed my Twitter account, as I didn't have time to use it.

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  • I have just unfollowed, because of 2 posters' mention of DAG blocking dissenters, which DAG has not denied, despite posting in this thread.

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  • When do the Olympics start?
    Apols if I'm a bit off the pace, I don't use twitter.

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  • David,
    You are one of the best known legal bloggers. When we started out on Twitter it was an exercise to get to know others in the legal family. This family includes the judiciary, lawyers, legal journalists and new legal media users, law students and the general body of people who express an interest in following law related news. The Leveson enquiry and LASPO had generated so many column inches that the likes of yourself and other respected law writers had accumulated a following that others would envy. I am principally a follower of your blog. TheLawMap no longer follows you not because of anything you have done but because Twitter allows an account holder to follow roughly 2000 individuals until their follower numbers roughly equal the number of followed. I had to go through a process of culling as 1800 followers is not quite enough for us to follow all those we would like to follow.
    Twitter needs to address this technicality. I appreciate that this is a ploy to cut out spammers but each month we get around 30 or so spammers follow us only to unfollow by the end of the month. Unless one is a 'marketer', I believe that it does not make any sense to keep tabs on how many followers one has.
    As an interested body in Law, legislation and how the law impacts upon the human condition, my primary goal in twitter is to spread legal news. A number of followers and even non-followers interact with us through direct questions or retweets each day roughly to the equivalent of 20% of how many tweets I had made that day and that for me is the most pleasurable part of Twitter participation. This pleasure has no monetary value but it would be fair to say that lawyers working for firms, in chambers, in house or for themselves are human too. So all legal issues discussed takes on a human aspect through which side of the law we stand. I often find great debates raging on between the right and left. Politics mingles so often with Law as the interrelation is undeniable. For law firms wanting to get in the act I firmly believe that they should engage in this 'interaction through focusing on the human aspect of law' rather than promotional ends. That is where Twitter works its best.
    Taz from TheLawmap

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  • "If you have time to follow and Tweet anything you probably don't know anything useful and if you do you can't be trusted to keep it to yourself. You also have too much time on your hands.in the first place, and I would not hire you."
    But you would, presumably, hire people with the time to post snarky comments on thelawyer.com?
    I congratulate David for his success on twitter. Much of the public believe negative stereotypes about the legal profession and judicial process. Anything that encourages laypeople to take an interest in and improve their understanding of the legal process, even in a small way, has to be a good thing.

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  • My, my don't the trolls get envious! Must be all that time under bridges, ruminating...

    DAG - keep up the good work
    Trolls - back under your bridges!!

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  • As a newly ABA certified paralegal, I enjoy reading about how people in the legal profession think. I tend to try to approach legal issues using the IRAC method. It helps me organize my thoughts. Reading how you approach issues and frame your arguments has been helpful to me in following the content of many tweeters. Thanks for your insight and contributions.

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  • Twitter following is much like making love to a beautiful woman (but without the fine wine and belgian chocolates). You send a bit of time spying on them. Then you follow them about before you pluck up the courage and to try to get their attention. You are flattered when you get a response that seems to pick you out as special amongst their many admirers. Maybe a dialogue ensues and you are happy to go about in public being closely associated with one another, knowing as you do that your intercourse is filling other admirers with jealousy. After a while you notice you don't really agree with, or even like, one or two things about them. Actually alot of what they say really grates. In the end you have to decide whether you are prepared to carry on having to listen to their incessant drivel or politely quit their company for good.

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  • @premsafety shameless twitter plug
    What makes you think that it is appropriate to introduce a sexist analogy for this discussion about new media? "like making love to a beautiful woman" - I assume that you are male, straight, and not the youngest lawyer in your office. I also assume that you have not yet realised that the world has moved on. In 2012 it is totally inappropriate, even in corporate law circles (yes, shock! horror!) to raise sexist remarks in supposed jest. Your attitude is unwanted and outdated. The legal sector has enough image problems already and does not need people like you dragging us backwards. (For the record, I am a senior lawyer and straight male in my early 40s, but that should make no difference to the fact that your attitude is outdated for all genders and all generations).

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  • "Post two or more tweets and then you will be unfollowed just because you are clogging up their timeline."
    Why then have you posted 25 tweets in the past one-and-a-half hours? If you are unwilling (or unable) to follow your own advice, what does that say about the value that should be placed upon it?

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  • @Anonymous 1007am Sorry if you were offended. I was paraphrasing the comedy character "Swiss Toni" - a used car salesman as portrayed by Charlie Higson in The Fast Show, Reeves and Mortimer, and his own eponymous spin off. It seems us forty something males don't all share the same taste in telly or appreciation of an ironic commentary on our own middle aged inadequacies. Maybe not being a lawyer though I can appreciate a less literal reading of any text I'm presented with, which is maybe why I can spot a joke when I see it and some people (including people who mistake the intention in tweets about blowing up midlands airports) cannot.

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