It’s surprising that the debate continues – is photographing and tweeting a speaker’s slides a DO or a DON’T? What’s the best practice for tweeting a meeting? If you don’t know the speaker’s social media handles, or they don’t have an account (gasp!), how do you give credit given the character limitations and space needed to write out a full name and institution? Are slides intellectual property not to be shared outside the live audience? Whether you agree or not, it is practical to enforce that kind of position? So many questions…so I did some asking.

tweeting the meeting is it Ok to post speaker slides

Note – although the polls below are now closed, you can still weigh in! Click on this tweetable and tell me why you think live tweeting a photo of a speaker’s slide is OK (or not).

Is it OK to tweet a speaker's slides? If yes, is it the responsibility of the speaker or the tweeter to ensure proper credit is given? tweet your answer

I conducted this poll in 2015:

live tweeting an academic conference or live tweeting a medical conference

Related: Live Tweeting Medicine X

Much more recently, I asked a similar question on Twitter’s poll platform (which didn’t exist back in 2015):

it is ok to tweet a speaker's slides

I got fewer responses, but similarly mixed sentiment. Admittedly, this question had a bit of a twist around the ease of giving proper credit, instead of simply asking if sharing the slides is acceptable. (A few years ago, I remember some people calling this plagiarism!)

Here are a few comments from the poll that are worth consideration:

@TomVargheseJr (surgeon) on who bears responsibility for ensuring proper credit: “Speaker. If your mission is to ensure the correct message is being disseminated, then the speaker should ensure everyone knows his/her handle and cited references. Make it easy for your audience.”

@JoniWatson (nurse/MBA) says: “Sharing is *wonderful* but reference (& acknowledgment) is key. I would never take info from another source w/o a reference to change practice. Why would I do it bc someone said it was presented at a conference? We must be vigilant w/ evidence & mindfully appraise it at all times” This is a great point to remember when thinking about actually applying information that’s been shared.

My own two cents: I put my own social handles and event hashtags on every slide in my presentation, and I specifically encourage the audience to go ahead and share. I also schedule key slides from the presentation to publish live within the event hashtag stream during my talk. These make it so easy for others to share and I have no concerns about credit. (We will always have to worry a bit about paraphrasing from others that loses our intent in translation, but at least we can easily respond!) Here’s another tip if you intend to tweet a meeting: research @ names of speakers or possibly their institutions, and create keyboard shortcuts with their name, session title, and event hashtag. It’s easy to delete, but also gets all of the key information ready for action!

What do you think?

Is it OK to tweet a speaker's slides? If yes, is it the responsibility of the speaker or the tweeter to ensure proper credit is given? tweet your answer

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