SBD/Issue 166/Sports Media

MLB's Social Media Policy Holds All Employees To Certain Standard

MLB Senior VP/PR Pat Courtney said that the league "sent an email in April to all its non-playing employees outlining its social media policy," and that "messages posted by MLB employees in the social media space on non-baseball accounts should meet a certain standard," according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Courtney: "My position on something like that would be if I'm Pat Courtney at MLB or I'm Pat Courtney at Gmail or Pat Courtney New Jersey Guy, I'm still an employee of MLB. There's no differentiation between those things to the extent you are still an employee here and the positions and things you say." Courtney said he believes there is "no separate policy for reporters," and the policy that "went out for all MLB people is the same across the board." Deitsch asked Courtney about "what some would consider a double standard for MLB on-air talent such as Peter Gammons, whose Twitter feed is filled with left-of-center political musings and music, along with baseball goodies." Courtney: "If we feel something crosses the line, we'll speak to someone about it." Deitsch wrote there is "no arguing that MLB Advanced Media has been at the forefront of social media among sports entities, and the reason the MLB Network gained credibility so quickly is that it didn't shy away from the seamy parts of the game, be it steroids or drugs, and hired independent voices such as Bob Costas." Deitsch: "That's why this chilling (my words) of speech either directly or indirectly is disappointing. MLB should trust its writers, and the people who read them. Part of the fun of Twitter is learning about the personalities of those behind the 140 characters" (SI.com, 5/10).

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