#PleaseRT: The New Autograph Request

Anyone who has been on Twitter for an extended period of time has seen it. The RT (retweet) request.

Fans asking their favorite athlete or celebrity for an RT on their birthday or as their biggest fan. RTs are today’s version of the personal autograph. A personal memento or bragging rights for all internet eternity to see? Most likely it’s both. 

They’re innocent. Harmless.

Unless, of course…

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Autographs used to be a fairly innocent exchange. In days of old (long before my time), children would write letters to athletes or celebrities asking for an autograph. As time progressed, kids (and yes, adults too) would line stadium rails or player exits to ask personally for autographs. Signatures became gold helping lead to a boon in the sports memorabilia industry. Gold. 

Figuratively, and sadly, literally.

But in today’s sports-social media landscape, the RT is today’s autograph.

RTd by Felix Hernandez

RTd by Michael Kay

RTd by Vontae Davis 

There are fan requests: 

Just because requests:

Help in promoting a website or cause:

A need for recognition:

Some athletes use it to their advantage (a review of Marshawn Lynch’s Twitter timeline shows a large number of RTs for fans): 

While some athletes don’t quite “get it”:

Is there any harm in asking for an RT? No.

It may clog up people’s timelines but there are ways to avoid this (turn off retweets or use TweetDeck filters to name two). Is there a way for fans to profit off of it? Not for the forseeable future.

Until then, this story from the Washington Post puts Twitter and autographs  in a whole new light. 

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What do you think? 

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CadChica Sports

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