How Do You Cite a Social Media Source?

As the world becomes increasingly reliant on social media for news, it is important to be aware of how this information should be sourced. While a lot of this information is legitimate, some of it can be inaccurate or even fake. When incorporating content from social media into assignments or papers, it is crucial to provide credit for the original author of that information.

While it is easy to attribute content from websites, blogs, and articles, social media sourcing can be a little more complicated. In this article, we will discuss the basic elements needed for social media citations and provide examples of how to properly credit different types of social media sources.

Social Media:

In the digital age, where people can instantly share photos and videos from all over the world, it is becoming more common for students to utilize social media as a source for research, projects, and even assignments. As a result, many teachers are including expectations around social media usage in their syllabi and rubrics to set students up for success.

It is also important to teach students how to evaluate social media sources to ensure that the information is authentic and accurate. In addition, instructors should emphasize the importance of giving credit to social media authors and sources in order to promote a culture of academic integrity and to establish an understanding that knowledge is not created or shared in a vacuum.


In Facebook status updates, it is important to include the full name of the person or company who posted the content. Additionally, it is a good idea to include the location in the post where possible. It is also recommended to add a link to the original post, if available. In Google+ posts, it is important to include the author’s name, along with their Twitter or Instagram handle, if applicable. In addition, it is a good idea to include a date for items that have a specific date associated with them, such as status updates, tweets, and photos.


When sharing a photo on Instagram, it is important to always include the caption of the original post as well as the image URL. This will help to give credit to the original author and allow viewers to easily find the image in a search. Additionally, it is a good practice to tag the original author in the Instagram post and to use #credit where applicable. It is also recommended to follow the same citation guidelines for Instagram as those used for other websites when citing photos and videos.