About Tweets and Facebook
Posts from online social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, are not often considered an aspect of scholarly research and specific reference examples for citing social media are not included in the APA Manual.
As social media becomes used more widely by businesses, national radio stations, government officials and agencies, and associations, there may be incidents where you would quote from these sources.
APA suggests adapted examples in the manual to meet you needs, see page 193.
About retrievability: Because online social media are about live updates not archiving, it is not possible to be absolutely sure these status update pages will still be here in a year, or 5, or 20 years.
If you are writing for a publication, you are encouraged to self-archive the posting.
To cite an entire Twitter feed or to discuss it in general terms, give the site URL in text and inside parentheses. Because Tweets are not archived they are considered not discoverable, the verifiability of a citation is not ensured. However, for most papers and assignments required for your course, it is recommended that you include the source in a reference list. If your work was going to be published in a magazine or journal you could omit including the source in the references list.
To differentiate among several posts from the same person, association, or group in the same year (or even the same day), you can include ”a” or “b” after the year, in chronological order. If you have only one post from the writer in a year, then it is not necessary to include “a” or “b.”
The Canadian NDP uses Twitter (http://twitter.com/#!/NDP_HQ) to keep Canadians up to date on party events and initiatives.
The suggested reference list entry below generally follows the format for citation of
online sources. (see pp. 214–215) NDP_HQ. (2012a, February 12).
Stay tuned – English question coming up next in Quebec City
CBC. (n.d.). In Facebook [Fan page]. Retrieved March 17, 2010,
CAUTION: You can only use publically viewable information from any social networking site including Facebook and Twitter. You cannot use any private or personal information.
The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University offers an online resource which can be used in some cases. However, it does not include everything required for citing sources in one place.
The APA citation style does not cover Canadian government sources, and has only a limited section on American government resources.
Please refer to the staff at the Library Reference Desk for clarification when citing Canadian government sources.