How do I cite to a Tweet / Twitter status update? I'd like a cite that conforms to the Bluebook, if possible.
Last Updated: Jan 04, 2013 | 1981 Views
Topics: Citation conundrums
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The current Bluebook is too old to cover citing Tweets, but it has been done. The key is getting the address/URL for the specific Tweet.
If you have the text of the Tweet, and the address of the Tweet-er's feed, you can use Google to bring up the specific Tweet so that you can get the address. So, for example, if you want to bring up a Tweet by Carol Rosenberg that mentioned Food Network chefs at Guantanamo, you can run this Google search:
"food network chefs" site:twitter.com/carolrosenberg
You'll get one result: a Tweet with this address: https://twitter.com/carolrosenberg/status/131426227654373376
From then on, you can build a citation based on what other journals have been doing.
For example, here's a cite to a Tweet (with text and footnote) from this recent Yale Law Journal article:Patricia L. Bellia, "Wikileaks and the Institutional Framework for National Security Disclosures," 121 Yale L.J. 1448, 1478 (2012)
In the text, the author says:
By September 2, WikiLeaks had released all of the remaining cables in unredacted form, both on its site and as an archive via the BitTorrent protocol. [FN146]
Here's the footnote containing the cite to the Tweet:
[FN146]. See Secret US Embassy Cables, supra note 137 (indicating that all 251,287 cables had been released); WikiLeaks, Twitter (Sept. 2, 2011, 5:12 AM EST), http://twitter.com/#!/wikileaks/status/109599482034913280 (showing the last announcement of the release of cables on WikiLeaks' site); WikiLeaks, Twitter (Sept. 1, 2011, 6:53 PM EST), http://twitter.com/ #!/wikileaks/status/109443867455131649 (noting the availability of the full archive via BitTorrent); see also Cablegate's Cables, http:// www.cablegatesearch.net/search.php (last visited Oct. 31, 2011) (providing a search capability for all 251,287 cables).