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giving credit is a collection of cultural practices related to acknowledging and attributing text, hyperlinks, quotes, utterances to others, typically by name, as a way of recognizing their contribution(s).


Main article: citations

Perhaps the most common form of giving credit is directly citing (and linking to, for online source) the source of some text, concepts, or ideas.


via is a commonly used label to note through what or whom content was first discovered. E.g. if A posts a photo, B publishes a post mentioning (or liking or reposting) it, which C sees, C might post something like "Look at this cool photo by A! (via B)", where B can either be linked to B's profile or the specific post they saw. Sometimes, this can form a long path until the actual source is reached.

Curator's Code definition

“Via” ᔥ tends to denote a direct repost — something you found elsewhere and shared with your audience with little modification or elaboration.

When passing on or repeating text and/or URLs on Twitter (or POSSEed notes) from a source on Twitter, the person repeating the content often uses "via: " literally in text (without quotes), followed by that person's Twitter @-name, rather than citing the specific tweet.

There are two possible (likely?) reasons for saying "via: @name" instead of "via:":

  • It takes less space in a tweet to do an @-mention (just the literal number of characters in the @-name plus the @, thus max 17) than a URL (Twitter t.cos http URLs into 22 characters, and https URLs into 23 characters)
  • Provide an embedded preview for the shared link rather than tweet - if you pass on a hyperlink and also hyperlink to the original tweet, Twitter will show only an embedded preview for the last link in your Tweet, and thus the original tweet rather than the material being passed along.

Alternate syntaxes:

  • sometimes "via " (without a ":") is used instead of "via: " to save one character in a tweet.
  • a few folks use the slashtag "/via " instead of "via: ". Same number of characters, unconventional punctuation.



Very interesting paper from UC @berkeley_ai examines the innate knowledge that helps humans solve computer games more quickly than a RL algorithm: via


When passing on or repeating text and/or URLs on Twitter from someone who provided the information but not on Twitter (perhaps they spoke it outloud, provided it in IM/IRC to you, or provided it in some other online source that is lengthier or on another or more general topic), the person repeating the content sometimes uses "hat-tip: " followed by the person's Twitter @-name. More often the abbreviation "ht: " is used to save space.

The same reason(s) as for using "via:" can justify using "ht:" with @-name instead of linking to a permalink or some other sort.

Alternate syntax(es):

  • sometimes "ht " (without a ":") is used instead of "ht: " to save one character in a tweet.
  • a few folks use the slashtag "/ht " instead of "ht: ". Same number of characters, unconventional punctuation.
  • many also use the pattern "h/t" on Twitter as well.

Curator's Code defined it as

“HT” ↬ tends to stand for indirect discovery — something for which you got the idea at your source, but modified or elaborated on significantly when sharing with your audience.


  • give credit (especially if found via a longer piece, not just a simple like)
  • social discovery: people seeing this and liking it might want to follow B
  • documentation for yourself
  • in-between post might have additional information readers might be interested in, but you want to primarily credit the original


no known examples explicitly marking this up. A potential consuming use-case could be recommendation tools (see why/social discovery above)

Crediting Applications

Some websites publicly credit the application used to create a piece of content. Typically this is indicated with text such as "via" or "from" or "using" near where the date of the post is displayed. Related:

  • using — Though "using" is literally used to credit applications, note the broader meaning of "using" as a type of content or page that describes what a person uses in general
  • colophons are also used on sites to credit applications and other tools used in the creation of that site.

IndieWeb Examples

Aaron Parecki

p3k credits applications by adding "posted using [application]" in the footer of post permalinks.

The text shown is the application's Micropub client_id, and since the application's access token makes the request to create the post, p3k knows which application created the post and can show the appropriate client_id.


On his primary site, Falcon displays a brief phrase as part of the footer of post permalinks since 2010-001. E.g. in:

00:10 on 2020-10-02 ( t58x1) using BBEdit

Emphasis added. The phrase there indicates that the post content was authored using the BBEdit application.

Jamie Tanna

  Jamie Tanna has been doing this since 2020-05-13 (announce post) with the following examples:

Jacky Alciné

Jacky Alciné has been presenting h-app information as generator information since 2022-03-15.

when the information about the app is available.

when the information about the app is not yet available.

This is done using Koype fetching the information from Sele about the provided token used for the request. Shock provides placeholder information when it doesn't see any information yet.


Twitter used to credit the application used to post a tweet by adding "via [application]" immediately after the date of the tweet.

In 2012, Twitter stopped displaying the name of the application used to post a tweet.[1]

This is still available in [ their API, as the source of a tweet.

Sometime (noticed as late as December 2018, but could have happened earlier) the mobile Twitter interface again shows the application used to post a tweet.


Facebook credits applications by adding the application name after the time of the post with a single bullet separator.

Atom and activity streams

The Atom spec uses generator to credit the creating app, and Activity Streams distinguishes source generator and provider



Follow reminders

  • Sven Knebel: I sometimes wish Twitter would document when/why I followed someone. I could post follows that reference through which other post I discovered someone/decided they might be interesting enough to follow.

See Also