ESPN Twitter Ban Is Not As Bad As Originally Thought

It Turns Out That The ESPN Twitter Ban Might Actually Be For The Best For Everyone Involved

8/5/09 in Media   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

Yesterday, ESPN NBA analyst Ric Bucher tweeted that ESPN had passed around a memo concerning their employees using social networking website Twitter. The actual tweet:

"The hammer just came down, tweeps: ESPN memo prohibiting tweeting info unless it serves ESPN. Kinda figured this was coming."

Immediately, everyone jumped all over ESPN. Justifiably so, if that's really what it was all about. However, Bucher might have jumped the gun a bit. Even more likely, he probably just wasn't able to explain exactly what he meant, while prohibited to only 140 characters at a time.

After asking another ESPN employee about it, I was able to get a little clarification about ESPN's new policy.

They're not actually banning Twitter. They're not prohibiting their employees from talking to people, tweeting about their day, or giving opinions on who to pick for your fantasy team.

The bottom line: hold your sports-related tweets to the same standard that you would the rest of your interaction with the public. If you are working on a story, don't tweet something that you can't confirm. If it's not solid enough to put in a column or to announce on your radio or TV show, then don't say it on Twitter.

While I'd love to bash ESPN, the fact of the matter is that what they're really doing is protecting the fans, teams and players, as well as ESPN itself, and their employees. When someone on the inside breaks news on Twitter, it is sometimes reported s fact, simply because someone with a strong reputation tweeted it. So now, ESPN is simply making sure that their employees understand that their interaction on Twitter is taken a little more seriously than most people, because they are expected to know more than most people about these situations.

In the end, it will just result in a few less speculative tweets, and a few less wild rumors flying around. That's it. You're off the hook for this one, ESPN.
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8/5/09   |   Heyhey1970   |   194 respect

ojekeme1 wrote:
This is smart on ESPN's part. It could very well protect either the network or one of it's employees from a damaging civil suit down the road.

Yeah, I think it was smart too.  There's not much difference between their reporting and tweets, so it shouldn't be too hard. 

8/5/09   |   ojekeme1   |   600 respect

This is smart on ESPN's part. It could very well protect either the network or one of it's employees from a damaging civil suit down the road.

8/5/09   |   kantwistaye   |   4219 respect

Still disappoints me.  Ric Bucher was one of my favorites to follow because he would tweet things he was hearing.

8/5/09   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

Speculative tweets are the only tweets I read, man.

8/5/09   |   chicachericola   |   2 respect

So the way I take this, ESPN is saying that they know they have a problem with the quality of their reporting so therefore they must make policies to curb the practices. I think their problem is a bit bigger than twitter.

8/5/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

thank goodness - I always like to @ reply and ask what color underwear they are wearing. I would hate it if they couldn't tweet back.