Thursday, September 15, 2011

NHL Releases New Twitter

Most likely inspired in the wake of several huge mistakes and public relations nightmares in the NFL and other pro athletes, the NHL has announced that the league is going to institute a new social media policy. In my opinion, it's never truly that bad among hockey "tweeters", but I guess this is going to prevent things getting as bad. The league (as I am understanding and interpreting it) is spinning things to claim that a clear policy could prevent a future PR catastrophe.

According to the NHL front office, Deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the NHL is saying that while things have been classy as expected. But I fear that this will not go over well in the recent controversy that questioned Daly's impartiality which scandalized hockey. Would he become a new standard in NHL represenative behavior online?
"The policy is sensible," said Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "It lets our players and clubs participate substantially in the opportunity of social networking while identifying and mitigating some of the risks. To date, our players and clubs have been exemplary in connecting with fans on social networks, and fans should not expect to see any material difference as a result of this policy."
It's getting cliché to say that the internet is still a "wild west" that has yet to be tamed. I think that most people have acclimated themselves to the internet enough in their daily lives to figure out what is appropriate and what is not. Twitter is no different. Users must wade through all the negativity, but a more veteran internet user can disseminate what to take seriously and what not to.

When a controversial message gets thrown around the news, it's usually the mainstream media that blows things up to giant proportions. Like joining a conversation in the middle, many sports fans are treated to the gossip-baiting tweets as if the context were self contained. And how many people are capable to express themselves fully in 140 characters or less?

I've seen twitter ruin reputations and destroy careers. Perhaps a clear and enforceable policy for the NHL is the way to go.

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