Thursday, August 06, 2009

The NHL vs twitter

Great story from the New York Times, about how the NFL is trying to crack down on players twittering, not for legal or rights issues, but in case they reveal things that could affect the fortunes of teams:

"Sparano told the Dolphins that information on Twitter would be picked up by the news media and provide another dreaded distraction.

Coaches did not have to look hard for an example: after Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson sprained a knee ligament in practice Saturday, his teammate Bernard Berrian tweeted that he was out for the season. Berrian later said that he was joking, and Jackson was expected to miss only a few practices.

A greater fear for coaches is that a player will mention that he turned his ankle in practice — or worse, that somebody else did — and that the news media and opponents will quickly read it."

I think we're going to see something like this in other areas of life too. Recently footballer Darren Bent got in trouble for tweeting about his frustrations about delays in getting a transfer:

"“Seriously getting p***** off now,” was the message posted at lunchtime, followed by “Why can’t anything be simple. It’s so frustrating hanging round doing jack s***.”

After later stating that “Sunderland are not the problem in the slightest,” there then followed more stringent criticism of Levy. “Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f****** around levy [sic].”"

The account got taken down, Bent got fined a reported £120,000, but has since claimed that it was worth it as it helped him to get the move he wanted.

This is an extreme example, but firms need to establish guidelines of what people can and cannot write in a personal capacity, especially where it concerns their jobs. Footballers seem to be particularly unwary of what they write; there are lots of cases of overseas Premiership players writing things in their blogs (in their own languages) and then being surprised that the press write about it.

See also - Rio Ferdinand's online magazine

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