Twitter guest host

@lauren asked: Can we organize regular takeovers of the Stan Twitter account? It’s a good way to amplify the diverse applications and voices of Stan users.

Why yes we can! Lauren you are the first, I’ll send you the password. Twitter handle is ‘mcmc_stan’.

Additional volunteers sought. Reply below.



Generally, I think there should be more clarity about who is mcmc_stan at any given time. Also we should have some sort of idea of what the takeover is for. (Generally I think this is a good idea, but maybe a quick plan would prevent problems down the line.)


Yes in my mind it would be like the other takeovers. Start with an introduction, and then post everyday about something to do with Stan - your work, challenges, favourite resources etc. Then end at a fixed date and return the account to the admin (is that @avehtari?). We should probably have some guidelines on acting according to Stan’s community standards when posting as mcmc_stan from the outset.

My thought is that it would be a different perspective on Stan, and would let us hear from all of the cool people using Stan that might not attend StanCons etc. I am happy to be the tester but I think I get heard enough in the Stan community anyway.

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This could be achieved by adding something to the full name of the account, so that it appears alongside the twitter handle.

I also agree on setting out some policy beforehand.


I think @syclik created the account. I got access to advertise StanCon 2018 Helsinki, and I also advertised and tweeted during StanCon 2019 Cambridge. Since Helsinki, I have also tweeted about major releases and re-tweeted about research and case studies which tag mcmc_stan. The account could be more active and takeovers doing more than just re-tweets and release announcements would be cool.

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We could just make the password really weak and see where that takes us


I think I created the account back in the day with @betanalpha’s help. (Here’s an old post on the users list discussing changing the name.)

More activity is good! Is there some mechanism for sharing credentials used by Twitter users? I’d be happy if there were multiple people posting given there are reasonable guidelines.

I think there’s two things here. One is having regular Twitter take overs (which as far as I can see have definite start and finish dates and occasionally a theme). The second is that multiple people have access to the mcmc_stan handle, and the need to increase the transparency of who is posting.

The first seems to be supported provided there are clear aims and guidelines in place.

The second also seems to be supported. It could potentially be solved by ending each tweet as mcmc_stan with “This is a tweet from @handle or name”. I’m not sure how other multiuser Twitter accounts are handled, perhaps a list of the main posters are included in the bio?

There aren’t too many accounts with multiple posters – typically each person gets their own account. The only common exception I can think of are customer support accounts, and public figure accounts that are managed by someone else where the managing person signs their name to make it clear that the public figure isn’t posting directly. I personally don’t think that having multiple people tweeting from an official Stan account at any one time is a good idea – if anything it should largely be reserved for announcements to encourage people to follow.

Otherwise I am in favor of Twitter take overs of the “official” Stan account, or maybe even better a new account dedicated to highlighting members of the community (“stan_users” is available and would make a great choice!). Technically as this uses the Stan trademark it should get governing body approval, but a reasonable proposal should have no problem passing.

That said have to take a bit of care to avoid problems. Other take over accounts have run into issues where the person taking during a given time sends out inappropriate tweets and someone has to be ready to revoke their privileges and clean up any of the relevant tweets. To encourage a good experience for users who might want to consider taking over we would also need to set clear expectations of what is considered appropriate material (ideally a code of conduct and a recommended set of topics, such as “Stan applications and development, statistics, your applied field, your history into Stan” or the like).

I recommend whoever might want to manage these take overs initially begin by putting together

  • Account (if not mcmc_stan)
  • Code of Conduct and Recommended Topics
  • Span on Takeover
  • Logistics for Sharing Credentials (without using a third-party service it looks like the best practice is to enable two-factor authorization send to the managing person’s phone and change the password with each user)
  • User Onboarding Procedure (suggestions for new users, photo and name for the taken over account)
  • Spreadsheet for recording sign ups

I’m happy to offer any help to whomever might be interested in managing.

R ladies is a take-over twitter account that works pretty well. It might be worthwhile checking with the administrators.

Yup. RLadies already has extensive documentation of their process publicly available,


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