Major League Baseball Policy Endorses Use of Social Media

Mashable

In its first policy explicitly addressing social media, Major League Baseball (MLB) endorsed the use of Facebook, Twitter and other networks by its players under certain conditions.

"We wanted to make sure we were encouraging them to engage in social media because we think it's a good way to bring fans closer to the game and engage with them in a meaningful way," MLB spokesman Matt Bourne told Mashable.

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In a memo preceding the new set of guidelines, league vice president of public relations Pat Courtney wrote, "We hope that you will not view this policy as a blanket deterrent to engaging in social media." Courtney specified interacting with fans, promoting charitable work and "sharing non-confidential information about you and your activities" as good uses of social platforms. He also warns players that tweets and posts are public, cannot be effectively retracted and will be reported by the media.

The policy comes with some interesting restrictions. Players are forbidden from posting official MLB media property such as video and audio content without prior authorization. They're also not allowed to post links to official MLB sites without permission.

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Social media use by players was previously only governed by a league rule prohibiting the use of electronic communication devices during games and within 30 minutes of start times, Bourne said. That rule is still in effect.

MLB's first comprehensive policy comes as a result of the league's collective bargaining agreement, which was negotiated last November. Players and team owners agreed a set of guidelines would be established for modern times. Twitter was just months old when the players and owners reached their last bargaining agreement, in 2006.

Do you think pro sports leagues should have official social media policies? Do you agree with MLB's guidelines? Let us know in the comments.

Thumbnail image courtesy of iStockphoto, EricHood

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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