Not that this matters to me anymore, thank God, but the Modern Language Association (MLA) has now provided academics with a standardized way to cite Tweets in a research paper.
In the main text of the paper, a tweet is cited in its entirety:
Sohaib Athar noted that the presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event.” or The presence of a helicopter at that hour was “a rare event” (Athar).
Then at the end of the paper in the Works Cited, begin the entry in the works-cited list with the author’s real name and, in parentheses, user name, if both are known and they differ. If only the user name is known, give it alone. Next provide the entire text of the tweet in quotation marks, without changing the capitalization. Conclude the entry with the date and time of the message and the medium of publication (Tweet). For example:
Athar, Sohaib (ReallyVirtual). “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).” 1 May 2011, 3:58 p.m. Tweet.