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SBD Global/August 28, 2013/Media

Premier League Clubs Monitoring Twitter Accounts Of Players With Social Pundit

The "power balance in football is changing" as clubs are "finally gaining the upper hand over their own players on Twitter," according to Jack Pitt-Brooke of the London INDEPENDENT. For years, teams have "been at the mercy of what their players choose to make public on social media, and have often been embarrassed by their revelations, their criticisms -- of referees, colleagues and opponents -- their indiscretions and even their spelling." But things "have altered and the clubs have a new weapon." This, in part, "is because of Social Pundit, and the Player Alert system at the heart of it." Clubs "can monitor the tweets of their players or employees, which are run against a database of more than 3,000 words which might be problematic -- obscenities, their derivations, slang and misspellings as well as words that might be linked to the discussion of other controversial topics: referees’ names, opposing managers and so on." When a player writes something which matches this database, it is categorised as red, amber or green "depending on how potentially offensive it is and an email is sent to club staff alerting them, as well as saying how much damage has been done by retweets and discussion." The point, as with speed cameras, "is to prevent rather than to catch." League Championship club Birmingham City, the first team to pilot Social Pundit, saw a drop from 20 to 30 alert emails every week to two or three now, with most of the worst behaviour eradicated" (INDEPENDENT, 8/27).
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