The curious case of More! magazine, Twitter and the mocking retweets

Here’s the strange tale of Blair and More! magazine. Blair is a fashion blogger who picked up a copy of More! magazine, didn’t like what she saw, and tweeted it.

More! then retweeted Blair’s critical opinions to their 11,000-plus followers – along with a couple of tweets that Blair had directed at a friend.

Blair explains “(The ‘tee hee’ at the top is in response to someone saying I ‘must feel stupid’ now. Sorry, More!, but I feel quite the opposite.)”

It’s a curious example of how Twitter can be used by a magazine. The platform is notoriously difficult to use as ‘an institution’. Who is @moremagazine? Is it ‘the brand’ speaking? The editor? A journalist? The publisher? Or someone on work experience? Is it the reader community?

Depending on your answer to the above, the tweets and retweets relating to Blair’s criticism can be anything ranging from a stain on the brand to a platform for readers’ opinions.

Blair puts it particularly well, and I leave the last word to her:

“It’s an incredibly interesting example of how the internet, and in particular the advent of social networking and the recent ubiquity of Twitter, has changed the interaction between publications and their readers in a relatively short space of time.

“Ten, even five years ago, something like this would have been unimaginable. Negative feedback would have either been ignored or taken on board and used to make changes, not advertised publicly so it could be mocked by other readers. (Not that this was actually feedback, of course; it would have to have been directed at the magazine for that, and it wasn’t.)

“On a larger scale, the recent Danny Dyer/Zoo magazine controversy is a great example of the changing relationship between magazines and their readers, a case in which the outrage of Twitter users and bloggers prompted public apologies and the sacking of Dyer.

“Is this change a good or bad thing? While I’d prefer my personal comments not to have been reposted like this, I can’t help but think it’s good; a strange sort of equality, in which readers and consumers are gaining power. I also can’t help but think if even a handful of people saw my comments and thought I had a point, this particular stunt has backfired on More! magazine.”

8 thoughts on “The curious case of More! magazine, Twitter and the mocking retweets

  1. Mayweed

    It’s just a little thing… but she did include their twitter name in her tweet, so it definitely WAS directed at the magazine, despite what she says

    Reply
      1. Sam Shepherd

        I don’t know Paul, I tweet as “the brand” and if someone’s included our twitter name in their tweet I assume they wanted me to see it. And in my experience, when our followers want to complain about something in the paper they deliberately leave our twitter name out so I don’t see.

        So I understand why whoever tweets for more! would assume Blair expected and wanted them to see it.

        I can also say that when someone tweets something negative about your product and tags their tweet so you’re in it, it can feel like you’re being insulted and so it’s not an unusual reaction to ask your followers if they support you.

        I’m not saying that I’d have done the same, but I understand why they did what they did.

        And that is indeed the trouble with Twitter: everyone’s rules are different

      2. Paul Bradshaw

        Indeed. When I include an @ name it’s either because I’m linking to what I’m talking about (rather than forcing a user to find it out for themselves) or because I don’t want the subject to think I’m ‘talking behind their back’. Blair’s explanation below suggests it wasn’t ‘For the attention of’, as you say, these things can be misinterpreted.

        However, the tweet that mentioned @moremagazine was referencing them rather than speaking to them. What is notable is that More! clearly then went to her Twitter account to see and retweet the criticisms which did not mention @moremagazine directly.

  2. Blair

    Thanks for writing about this. It’s mind-boggling how much attention the incident has been getting and the massive response I’ve had is yet another good example of the power of social media. My followers on Twitter were hovering around 70 before this and have now jumped to over 500! The exposure has made me rather embarrassed about the content of the original tweets, though. If I’d had any idea they’d be publicised so widely I’d never have used that language (‘chav’ and the swear words etc…)

    Also, to the person above and others who have said the same, I honestly didn’t intend the tweets as feedback; I included @moremagazine so my followers would know what I was talking about, since there’s also an American magazine with that name, @moremag I believe. I’m not a Twitter newbie but I tend to only interact with people I know on there, and it never occurred to me that a national publication would pick up on individual comments in this manner, as I assumed the tag would be used too extensively for that to be possible. Also, the one tweet they didn’t RT was the one with their name in it!

    Reply
  3. Natalie Eccleshall

    wow, i really don’t see why More! would do that to themselves. Do you think to begin with they just randomly re-tweeted without reading it? :-/ i struggle to understand why they would openly mock themselves but it is a weird & wonderful world. Interesting blog Paul. Nat.

    Reply
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  5. Laura P

    I agree with Mayweed. Despite what Blair says, including the @name of the magazine in her tweets meant they’d see the tweets and of course they’d want to respond…

    Having just read the original blog, I have to say I think any company that re-tweets negative comments (and boy were her comments negative – ’40 chav gimps’? ‘it made me want to kill everyone involved’?) is facing up to the reality of thought towards its brand, head-on.
    Good for them, I say.

    Reply

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