Once upon a time, twitter didn’t have a RT button. People would copy a tweet, paste it in their status update box, put “RT” in front of it and credit the original writer when sending it out.
Now, twitter has a ReTweet button. As do all the other twitter clients out there. This magical button automatically copies the original tweet, preserves its author (as the author) and credits the retweeter in the tweet’s notes instead. This means that the tweet shows up on the retweeters stream, but with the original author as the author.
Now some people, persist in doing an old school RT to retweet, instead of using the built-in mechanism of the new, creditable, retweet.
This means the retweeter’s name is mentioned and his own eminence increases instead of the original tweeter’s. Sometimes this is necessary, especially if the retweeter wants to comment on the tweet, and add his own snark to the mix.
I consider that sneaky, and only use it very selectively, as I prefer to give credit to the original news source if I know it. I’m mentioned in the retweet anyway.
I wonder if people use it maliciously, inadvertently, nostalgically, or, like me a little over a year ago, for lack of a proper smartphone (Symbian’s not smart enough…).