Monday, February 14, 2011

FA Statement on Twitter Policy

The use of Twitter and other social networking sites by athletes has become an interesting topic in the sports industry recently. Many NFL players have used it to sound off on the labor negotiations. LeBron James has used it to address his "haters". Former Liverpool and Dutch National Team forward Ryan Babel used it to post an image of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United jersey (pictured above). As the number of athletes using the internet sources multiplies faster than the number of Sixers fans after their recent run of success, leagues are having to develop their own policies to regulate the use.

Over this past weekend the English Football Association (FA) released the following statement:

‘Participants should be aware that comments made on such sites may be considered public comment, and that further to FA Rule E3, any comments which are deemed improper, bring the game into disrepute, or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to disciplinary action.

‘Comments which are personal in nature or could be construed as offensive, use foul language or contain direct or indirect threats aimed at other participants are likely to be considered improper.’

‘Participants are required to act in the best interests of the game at all times and should be aware of this when using social networking websites.

‘Furthermore, participants are reminded that postings on social networking sites which they believe to be visible to a limited number of selected people may still end up in the public domain and consequently, care should be exercised with regards to the contents of such postings.

‘In addition, we would remind participants that social networking postings could also lead to civil proceedings being brought by affected parties.’

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