PROTIP: You Really Shouldn't Try Redacting Tweets

Blog Post created by mjc on Mar 1, 2012

I have seen a number of presentations, media stories, and even television quote tweets with redacted identities. Redacting tweets is an attempt to "protect the innocent". It is also an attempt to protect content producers from legal liability. The problem is that redacting tweets usually fails due to Twitter Search, Google, and many other sites that cache tweets.


Here's an example of a "meta" tweet on this topic I created on Twitter for this blog post.



In the next image, you see the typical, futile attempt at redaction.


You only need to search for a small block of text in the tweet to determine the originating source.


I would suggest that you paraphrase a tweet and refrain from publishing screen captures if you don't want to reveal the source. You still need to use Twitter Search and Google to verify that people can't easily trace the tweet to the origin.