Via JimRomenesko:. I saw the tweets in question and didn't think twice about them, although they obviously made a lot of gamers mad. I've seen worse. And Max also apologized, though in a way that the gamers didn't really like very much. Still, I wonder what, exactly, made this the tweet that prompted this note from Joel:
From: Joel Johnson
Date: Fri, Oct 17, 2014 at 6:55 PM
To: All Staff
I don't want to tell you what to tweet. But I do want you to think about how your tweets can be perceived without context. I'm as guilty as anyone about using Twitter as a place for absurdity and trolling among friends, but the last couple of days have made it clear how people are willing to conflate personal tweets as official company statements. If it's willful conflation, then there's nothing to be done. But try to keep in mind when a tweet could be innocently misinterpreted—and then don't tweet.
I'll be thinking about our need for an official policy about tweeting, including possibly determining that we still don't need one. But the fact that I'm sending this email should indicate the degree to which errant joke tweets have become a pain in the ass.
Of course, this applies everywhere. This isn't about cottoning to the fallacy of our age (ask Slackbot for details). This is about making sure that people can't use our own ideas and words to undermine the truth of what we're trying to say. That obviously applies to our own sites; increasingly, it seems that applies to everywhere we speak on the Internet.