Report: NBA cracks down on team Twitter accounts sending mean tweets
The league reportedly sent out a memo with new rules
The NBA is reportedly cracking down on official team social media accounts sending negative tweets about opposing teams or players.
ESPN's Tim MacMahon obtained a memo sent by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum to all 30 teams, which asserted that some accounts have "crossed the line" recently. This probably refers to the hilarious back-and-forth between Portland Trail Blazers' account and Chandler Parsons, which also involved Blazers guard C.J. McCollum. Parsons, by the way, thought the whole thing was "in good fun."
"While we understand that the use of social media by teams, including during games, is an important part of our business, the inappropriate use of social media can damage the reputation of the NBA, its teams, and its players," NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum wrote in the memo obtained by ESPN.com. "Recently, social media postings (e.g., on Twitter) by some teams have crossed the line between appropriate and inappropriate. In addition to other concerns, such conduct by teams can result in 'Twitter wars' between players that can cause further reputational damage and subject players to discipline by the League.
"As a result, we want teams to be aware of the NBA's rules with respect to the use of social media by teams. As with in-game entertainment, teams are prohibited from mocking and/or ridiculing opponents (including teams, players, team personnel (including owners), and opponents' home cities) and game officials on social media in any form, including through statements, pictures, or videos."
"Teams may use social media for fun and light-hearted banter that does not reflect poorly on any team, player, other team or League personnel, or the League as a whole. However, such activity cannot become inappropriate or offensive. As such, we encourage teams to properly and extensively train their social media staff members to ensure that they know what kind of postings are appropriate and what kind are not."
When does "light-hearted banter" become "inappropriate or offensive?" That's always a judgment call, but I'm not sure there was a real problem that needed solving here. There have been examples of teams poking fun at opponents -- the Sacramento Kings love to photoshop Ls after victories -- but I can't recall an incident that actually upset people since the #didntloseby50 fiasco last season.
Anyway, the NBA has told teams that their social media managers cannot "disparage, belittle or embarrass an individual opponent or game official," per ESPN. Twitter trash talk is now officially prohibited.
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