Twitter: Professionalism Vs Parody


I know it's not news that there is conflict on social media. In a recent example, a flamewar happened on yelp following a pizza owner giving the President a bear hug. Comments started, then supports from both sides weighed in, and we're off to the races.

Example two: Everyone in the medical social media world remember what happened a year and a half ago (has it been that long already), when a blog post was written by our good friend @Doctor_V pointing out some tweets from @mommy_doctor. That blog post, entitled "Unprofessional Physician Behavior on Twitter," had 129 comments and had to be closed to further comments. There were numerous other blog posts written about this. I even did an entire podcast on the topic, which was one of the most exhausting podcasts I have done.

This most recent episode occurred on September 9-10, 2012 on twitter. The tweets are below for your review via the service called storify. It started out with a doctor making a comment about a patient and a patient objecting to the negative characterization about the patient. The doctor then states that this is "gallows humor" and a means of venting. Someone else asked the question about the role of self-censorship in social media. The patient closes the twitter war with this point: "treat me like I was there in front of you, IRL it is pretty simple."

I mean, this is nothing new that is happening. But, it is an opportunity to re-open the topic about twitter behavior. Is there a certain etiquette that should be followed? How far is too far to push things on twitter and other social media outlets? Or, is it as simple as "just unfollow me" on twitter and that's the end of it. What do you think?