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MLB social media policy


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#1 SoxScout


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:11 AM

While having a Social Media policy is important to protecting the interests of everyone involved in promoting the game, we hope that you will not view this policy as a blanket deterrent to engaging in social media. MLB recognizes the importance of social media as an important way for players to communicate directly with fans. We encourage you to connect with fans through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Along with MLB’s extensive social media activities, we hope that your efforts on social media will help bring fans closer to the game and have them engaged with baseball, your club and you in a meaningful way.

The policy itself is more of a legal document, but it basically consists of a list of ten prohibitions:

  • Players can’t make what can be construed as official club or league statements without permission;
  • Players can’t use copyrighted team logos and stuff without permission or tweet confidential or private information about teams or players, their families, etc.;
  • Players can’t link to any MLB website or platform from social media without permission;
  • No tweets condoning or appearing to condone the use of substances on the MLB banned drug list (which is everything but booze, right?);
  • No ripping umpires or questioning their integrity;
  • No racial, sexist, homophobic, anti-religious, etc. etc. content;
  • No harassment or threats of violence;
  • Nothing sexually explicit;
  • Nothing otherwise illegal.

http://hardballtalk....ts-pretty-good/

It's finally out there, figured some people would want to see it.

#2 Foulkey Reese


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:18 AM

Players can’t link to any MLB website or platform from social media without permission

This seems kind of odd. If Jon Lester wants to post a link to an amazing catch that Jacoby Ellsbury made that's on MLB.com, what's the downside?

#3 rembrat


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:28 AM

Logan Morrison's account just got a bit more duller. And I dont get it either, Major League Baseball players linking to Major League Baseball content, the horror!

#4 Omar's Wacky Neighbor

  • 2774 posts

Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:38 AM

This seems kind of odd. If Jon Lester wants to post a link to an amazing catch that Jacoby Ellsbury made that's on MLB.com, what's the downside?

There's also the potential to do it in an uncomplimentary fashion. Or, they could could have ulterior motives for posting a link, calling attention to a scoring error or blown call, without actually saying it.

Just MLB CYA.

#5 ypioca

  • 4228 posts

Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:22 AM

It just says they cannot link to content without permission. I can't see them not giving permission to someone linking a great play (teammate or otherwise). I'm not sure how they're going to enforce this - maybe have someone in charge of filtering all the tweets and posts before they're sent out? Seems like that will take away from the whole point of tweeting (something just happened, look at it!). My guess is this will be a "who gives a shit" rule that only gets enforced when someone fucks up with it.

I love that they made this list 10 items long. And they had to add "nothing otherwise illegal", just for that purpose.

#6 maufman


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 08:43 AM

I expect this policy to be selectively enforced. The goal is to ensure that MLB can punish the likes of John Rocker or Luke Scott for racist remarks. A modern-day Bill Lee who made statements condoning drug use might also find himself in hot water. A player who tweets a link to MLB.com might get chided for consistency's sake, but isn't going to be punished.

The real problem with the scope of this policy is the potential chilling effect. After decades of keeping a lid on players whenever possible, MLB seemed to realize in recent years that greater access was good for the game, with the benefits of exposure far outweighing the occasional PR snafu. This policy seems like a retreat from that recent openness, and I'm curious what is driving it.

#7 LoweTek

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:25 AM

You know, this is interesting to me. My company is considered a global leader in large corporate use of social media to listen to and interact with customers, learn about problems they be griping about somewhere, marketing, company image management, etc. They have a freaking social media command center where they monitor in real time anything and everything being said in any publicly accessible social media forum. The information learned is being integrated into everything from product design groups, to process decisions, to customer service policies. They literally assign people whose job it is to track down customers who post what appear to be legitimate concerns and try to make the thing right. Everyone, from the CEO on down; everyone is encouraged to represent the company in certain social media forums, help a customer if they learn of a bad experience being posted about, whatever. However, you are required to take a multiple hour internal training course with the word "certification" in the title in order to be authorized to do so. This may sound a little silly at first but if you think about it, it makes sense for large brand driven company and frankly, I think they are awfully smart to do what they are doing. Maybe MLB too is realizing the potential for both positive and negative ramifications with the proposition of players let loose in social media. It's not like they aren't a business and a "brand" like any other multi-billion dollar corporation.

#8 Lose Remerswaal


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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:50 AM

This is professional writing!

"Players can’t use copyrighted team logos and stuff"

#9 maufman


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  • 12244 posts

Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

You know, this is interesting to me. My company is considered a global leader in large corporate use of social media to listen to and interact with customers, learn about problems they be griping about somewhere, marketing, company image management, etc. They have a freaking social media command center where they monitor in real time anything and everything being said in any publicly accessible social media forum. The information learned is being integrated into everything from product design groups, to process decisions, to customer service policies. They literally assign people whose job it is to track down customers who post what appear to be legitimate concerns and try to make the thing right. Everyone, from the CEO on down; everyone is encouraged to represent the company in certain social media forums, help a customer if they learn of a bad experience being posted about, whatever. However, you are required to take a multiple hour internal training course with the word "certification" in the title in order to be authorized to do so. This may sound a little silly at first but if you think about it, it makes sense for large brand driven company and frankly, I think they are awfully smart to do what they are doing. Maybe MLB too is realizing the potential for both positive and negative ramifications with the proposition of players let loose in social media. It's not like they aren't a business and a "brand" like any other multi-billion dollar corporation.


If you follow normal, prudent corporate PR practices, you would tell players not to talk to the press. No ordinary business would want its brand defined by the comments of a bunch of guys with outsized egos, most of whom have no more than a 12th-grade education. This is how most major-league teams operated for decades -- in most cases, players were strongly discouraged from talking with the press.

In recent years, MLB has encouraged players to be more open with the press, and the results have been mostly good, from both a business perspective and a fan perspective. Granted, some kind of brand protection is needed -- MLB doesn't want the likes of Bill Lee, John Rocker or Luke Scott to speak freely -- but this new policy goes far beyond what's needed to give MLB recourse in extreme cases like those.

This policy is, as you say, something like what an ordinary business would do -- but baseball is no ordinary business. The brand is part of the game's draw, but the players are as big a part of it; you can't promote the "brand" independent from the players. That means that to market itself properly, baseball must take risks that no ordinary business would take. In recent years, MLB had embraced that risk, and seemed to be reaping rewards from it. I'm curious if the abrupt change in policy is intentional (I assume it is), and if so, I wonder what's motivating it.

#10 Hyde Park Factor


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Posted 17 March 2012 - 07:25 AM

I see this as an effort by MLB to control the message as best as they can. There is tremendous upside to players engaging the fans directly through social media, but the downside really can't be ignored. Imagine if players could freely mock other player's blunders or voice their dissatisfaction with official scorers or umpires through social media. It would turn into a crap fest that MLB would have to try and police once the cat is out of the bag. I think it's a smart move in that now everyone should be on the same page going forward.

MLB will probably allow any link to a good play or a "positive" message, but has the right to say no to anything they deem "inappropriate".

edit: clarity

Edited by Hyde Park Factor, 17 March 2012 - 07:29 AM.