Who's the boss? On Twitter, I am

CYBER SORTER: This week our social media agony aunt looks at whether you should pretend to be your boss on Twitter and how to…

CYBER SORTER:This week our social media agony aunt looks at whether you should pretend to be your boss on Twitter and how to avoid a Facebook stalker

Dear Cyber Sorter,

Our company is holding a big convention at the end of the month and my boss has asked me to tweet as him from his personal account during the conference. He explained that he couldn’t keep his followers updated and answer their questions while also running the convention, but that he didn’t want to go silent on them at this important juncture. Wouldn’t pretending to be my boss on Twitter, even though he has asked me to do so, be unethical?



Dear MA,

Asking an employee to take over your Twitter account comes off as smarmy. Building up a Twitter following is equal to building relationships. Trust is harder to achieve in Twitterland because we cannot see each other interacting. Once the trust is built, it would be foolish to gamble with it.

However, there is no reason taking over your boss’s account at his behest should have to be an underhand operation. Your boss must first tweet that during the convention “MA” will be on hand on his Twitter feed to answer questions and to keep his followers properly updated, while he gets on with running it.

To further clarify, you should then end all tweets you send under his account with “#MA”. This is particularly important to remember when you are replying to any personal tweets that have been sent to your boss.

Dear Cyber Sorter,

My flatmate’s ex-girlfriend is stalking me on Facebook. I live in a shared house and I’m always friendly with visitors but this woman takes the biscuit. She broke up with my flatmate about three months ago, breaking his heart. After a couple of weeks’ silence, I was on Facebook when a chat message popped up from her saying, “Hi”.

I ignored it, knowing what was coming and sure enough another one pinged. “How’s John? Ive been a bit worried about him,” it read.

This is all none of my business, but she’s forcing me into the middle of it by showing her concern to me and not him. Do I tell him about these messages or is it better to leave it alone? I wish she would just leave me out of it.


Dear GB

You should leave her out of it. De-friend her. Although it might feel like a horrible thing to do, it removes you from the situation so she can’t ease her conscience or play her games or whatever she’s doing through you.

It will force her to either contact him and make reparations or leave him alone to get over it. Neither option should involve you.

It’s also not nice for her to see you online, send you messages and get no response.

You could just switch your chat status off so she can’t see when you are online. But really, why stay connected to her online when she’s not really your friend and is making you uncomfortable?

If she can ditch her boyfriend of two years, then you can ditch her, your flatmate’s ex-girlfriend.

Send your social-media queries and dilemmas to cybersorter@irishtimes.com