Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Be Careful What You Tweet

By Courtney Carey

Ryan Babel, like many of us, is an avid user of the social media site, Twitter. Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that Babel, midfielder for Liverpool’s soccer team, was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for the content of one of his tweets.

During the match between Liverpool and Manchester United in the third-round of the FA Cup, referee Howard Webb made a questionable call in favor of Manchester. In response to the referee’s call, Babel tweeted a doctored photo of Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt with a caption reading, “And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke.” While Babel stated that the tweet was “an emotional reaction after losing an important game,” the Football Association did not find the tweet humorous and charged him with improper conduct.

Babel’s experience not only demonstrates that you should always be aware of what you say on a public platform such as Twitter, but that social media sites are now considered a source of serious and legitimate statements. While the use of Twitter can still be fun and light-hearted, it is important to always think about the impact that your statements may have.

Courtney Carey is Manager of Social Media at Maroon PR. Contact her at Courtney@MaroonPR.com

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