Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Monday, 1 September 2014

Workaround for manually retweeting (eg comment retweeting) a tweet with a Twitter picture in it

by @JoBrodie

This refers to using Twitter on the website (ie on a browser) and may or may not be relevant to those using third party apps on tablets or phones.

Update 8 March 2015
Oh for asterisks' sake, Twitter's tweaked it again. Using the technique below didn't work for me today (I ended up sending this tweet which has no credit to the person who originally wrote it) so I did the following and it worked instead.
  • Click on the tweet's timestamp to go to the its own page (example)
  • Ctrl+U to bring up the page's sourcecode
  • Ctrl+F to bring up search dialogue box, then type pic.twitter into the box to search for the picture's actual address ( - it will look like a pic in a tweet)
  • Pasted that into a new tweet
  • From the tweet page, copied the text and name of the tweet sender and put it into the new tweet before the pic.twitter address
  • Sent (example)
  • Blogged, grumpily ;)
(Note you can click outside the tweet and it will disappear, but clicking on the 'new tweet' feather / quill icon will bring u a new tweet window with your unsent text in it, so it's fine to toggle among different windows / tabs to collect all the bits you need to send the tweet).

It worked. The below is kept for my prospective historical irritation.

EDIT 5 October 2014
Five weeks on from writing this post Twitter seems to have changed things again. I've seen several tweets referring to a cartoon by UK cartoonist Matt about human rights - the cartoon doesn't automatically appear at all unless I click on the tweet.

I'm leaving the one below as a small version as I'm not sure about the ethics of sharing a full-size version of his cartoon.

The original tweet's address is and when you go there and hover over the picture its (right click / copy) address shows up as but on collecting it it seems to be this

I'm afraid I've really no idea how you'd neatly copy and paste the text of the tweet and the address of the picture, such that the picture would show up in your own tweet, so that you could add a comment and manually retweet it. Can't see a good reason for Twitter to make this difficult, though I can see plenty of reasons.

Remember you can share a link to a tweet (the person may be alerted with a notification when you do) but I've no idea what happens if you share a link to the 'pbs.twimg' link.

Copying and pasting the tweet looks like this. Haha what a mess. Adding a comment to a tweet can be a valuable part of the Twitter ecosystem and I've written previously in praise of manual (comment) retweets.

Here's what it was like five weeks ago when it was still doable, though fiddly.

1. Manually retweeting a tweet containing a pic.twitter link
When Twitter publishes a tweet that contains a pic.twitter-hosted image (not all images are affected, it depends if where it's hosted) it hides the picture's address (URL) and just presents the image within the tweet.

This means that if you want to retweet it and add a comment the method of copying and pasting the text doesn't work, because the text lacks the picture's URL. I just found this out.

This is what the tweet originally looked like...

  ...and here's what I ended up sending out...

...note lack of picture!

What you need to do is go to the original tweet and click on the picture, which will then look like the version below - you can see there's a tweet below it with the full pic.twitter.blah web address, you need to include that in your comment-retweet.  (This isn't necessary for tweets with instagram or similar links because Twitter doesn't automatically display the picture while hiding the URL).

Perhaps Twitter is gradually making it more of an uphill struggle for people to do anything other than press the RT button but I often prefer manual RTs for a variety of very good reasons. 

I don't especially like the ones where someone's just copied and pasted the text then stuck nothing but an "RT" in front of it and have seen other people comment that it's "stealing' the tweet (if that one gets RTed instead of the original you get all the glory). This can be true, however that's probably not the only reason people are doing it. While not forensic it traps a copy of the tweet in case later deleted, it also captures it into your own timeline making it easier to find again in future in your own archive.

But I'd still rather see the tactic done with at least a comment added.

More by me on this topic 
In praise of manual RTs (26 May 2014) 

2. Clicking on some pic.twitter pictures just makes them smaller - a solution
Usually when you click on an online picture it gets bigger, not pic.twitter pictures in tweets though. This has been background-irritatingly me for a while, until I heard of a solution which I've embedded below. Thanks Unity!

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