Yesterday was Twitter day in Connected. A few interesting posts surfaced a few interesting aspects and perspectives and I invite you to read them in Connected (Top 5 Rules for using Twitter by Bradley Clark and Twitter Blunders by Mike Mintz). A day before, in a discussion around social media guidelines around Blogging, one of the arguments mentioned was that even though social media is just another means of communication, and that policies that address other channels can also be applied to it, the one thing that differentiates new media from other media is the quick and ease in which information and content can be sent out.
Twitter is a perfect example of the ‘quick and easy’ aspect and so we decided to dedicate a whole day to discuss the guidelines around it. A month ago, Wired featured an article about AP’s strict Facebook and Twitter policy that was set in place following an AP reporter status update on his personal Facebook page:
“The Associated Press is adopting a stringent social-networking policy for its employees, informing them to police their Facebook profiles “to make sure material posted by others doesn’t violate AP standards. The policy (.pdf) comes weeks after an AP reporter was reprimanded for posting a comment to his own Facebook profile criticizing the Sacramento-based newspaper chain McClatchy, whose stock has become nearly worthless after a string of costly acquisitions.”
The guidelines include very strict instructions such as forbidding reporter to friend sources, avoid including certain information on profile, and monitor their profile for any comments posted by others, and delete them if they violate AP standards. A blog post comparing the social media guidelines of New York Times vs those of Washington Post highlights 2 approaches for Social Media Policy – an interesting case for the journalism world and I am curious about what the legal world’s reaction to similar guidelines is?