Is ghost-tweeting for your CEO unethical?

Many CEOs don’t have time to update or monitor their Twitter feeds, but is it right for someone else to tweet for them without full disclosure?

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When someone, such as a public relations practitioner, updates the Twitter account of someone else under the guise of that person, like the CEO of a company, they are ghost-tweeting.

This is a common practice, as CEOs tend to be too busy to write their own speeches, blog posts and tweets. However, it raises a few questions: Is it ethical to ghost-tweet for a CEO or company Twitter account without identifying yourself? To what extent should the author of the tweets identify him- or herself?

Should the author disclose his identity?

I believe it is best for companies to be as transparent as possible. This includes identifying exactly who updates the corporate Twitter account or who tweets for the CEO. The audience deserves to know where the content comes from and what that person’s agenda is. Identifying a ghost-tweeter may increase the credibility of the company and the trust between the corporation and its audience.

Furthermore, it is impossible to write something completely objectively. The author will always put some of his or her own bias into the writing. Even though the ghost-tweeter may be familiar with the CEO’s point of view, the author has the power to choose how to phrase a statement and what information to include in a tweet.

How much information should the company disclose?

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